Recent studies have shown that a high dietary intake of cured meat increases the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) development. However, its potential effects on COPD evolution have not been tested. We aimed to assess the association between dietary intake of cured meat and risk of COPD readmission in COPD patients. 274 COPD patients were recruited during their first COPD admission between 2004 and 2006, provided information on dietary intake of cured meat during the previous 2 yrs, and were followed until December 31, 2007 (median follow-up 2.6 yrs). Associations between cured meat intake and COPD admissions were assessed using parametric regression survival-time models. Mean ± SD age was 68 ± 8 yrs, 93% of patients were male, 42% were current smokers, mean post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) was 53 ± 16% predicted, and median cured meat intake was 23 g · day(-1). After adjusting for age, FEV(1), and total caloric intake, high cured meat intake (more than median value) increased the risk of COPD readmission (adjusted HR 2.02, 95% CI 1.31-3.12; p=0.001). High cured meat consumption increases the risk of COPD readmission in COPD patients. The assessment of the effectiveness of healthy diet advice should be considered in the future.