Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Dr. Tricia LeVan

Second Committee Member

Dr. Abraham Mengist

Third Committee Member

Dr. Corrine Hanson


COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States and is the leading cause of hospitalizations in adults.1Although there is no cure for COPD, symptoms can be managed to increase the quality of life of those affected by the disease. Dietary omega-3 and -6 as well as fiber intakes have been noted as mitigating the burden of disease through their anti-inflammatory properties. We set out to look at the synergistic effect of both omega-3,-6, -6:-3 ratio and fiber on COPD, lung function and respiratory morbidities. We used data from the National Heath and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) to examine the relationship of COPD lung function outcomes (COPD yes/no, COPD GOLD classification, and FEV1/FVC score) and symptoms with omega-3, -6, omega 6:3 ratio and fiber intakes. We found that dietary fiber intake was associated with COPD status (p=0.0381), cough (p=0.0109), and chronic bronchitis (p=0.0392). We found no significant associations between omega-3 intake and COPD and respiratory outcomes or between omega-6 intake and COPD and respiratory outcomes. We did observe an interaction of fiber quartiles and omega 6 (p=0.0269) and omega 6:3 (p=0.0142) on COPD status. Future studies should examine this interaction further.

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