Serum Cholesterol in Ambulatory Individuals With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Clemens, Evelyn L. Schnoor
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The problem: Current accepted therapeutic modality in dietary management for individuals with chronic obstructiv e pulmonary disease(COPD)includes 40-50% of the caloric intake to come from fat sources. According to current literature, diets high in fat lead to elevated total serum cholesterol levels and increased risk for the development of coronary heart disease. Little research has addressed the incidence and associated risk of elevated total serum cholesterol levels because of diet therapy in ambulatory individuals with COPD. Procedure: Records of 46 persons with COPD who participated in a pulmonary rehabilitation program at a midwestern medical center between the years of 1986-1989 were reviewed for total serum cholesterol level, severity of disease, age, gender, and smoking history. Findings: Although mean total serum cholesterol levels evaluated were elevated >200 mg/dl,the level set by the American Heart Association, there was no significant difference in total serum cholesterol level when the sample was categorized by severity of disease, age, and gender. Additional findings indicated 83% of the sample had smoked. Female subjects smoked more packs per day for a slightly longer period of time than did the males. Conclusions: While hypotheses of the study were not supported, increased total serum cholesterol levels in 76% of the subjects was a finding that has implications for the practice of nurses who work with ambulatory individuals with COPD. Recommendations: Replication of the study with a larger sample size and inclusion of a larger number of variables were suggested. Additional recommendations were given.
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