As healthcare costs continue to escalate, new study results have suggested an integrative approach to treating patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may bring both health and economic benefits.
Researchers from the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the Maxima Medical Centre in Veldhoven, Netherlands, studied patients with mild to moderate COPD. They divided them into two groups, one of which received usual care and the other underwent an interdisciplinary, community-based program (INTERCOM), according to Medical News Today.
INTERCOM included intensive lifestyle moderation phase of four months, during which participants performed two 15-minute intervals of walking or cycling, and it provided proper nutrition and smoking cessation counseling.
The article reports that there was a 20-month maintenance period after the intense introductory phase, and the researchers found that during that time those who participated in the program experienced significant improvements in health status, exercise capacity and shortness of breath symptoms, compared to those who did not.
The results, which were presented at the 105th international conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego, come on the heels of another study published earlier this year which found that COPD patients may benefit from a diet rich in antioxidant vitamins A, C and E as well as omega-3 fatty acids.