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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
Title Respiratory Involvements among Women Exposed to the Smoke of Traditional Biomass Fuel and Gas fuel in a District of Bangladesh
Volume 19
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 126-134
URL http://www.researchgate.net/publication/257534511_Respiratory_involvements_among_women_exposed_to_th​e_smoke_of_traditional_biomass_fuel_and_gas_fuel_in_a_district_of_Bangladesh/file/5046352a3324f5078b​.pdf
Objectives: Burning of biomass fuel (cow-dung, crop residue, dried leaves, wood, etc.) in the kitchen releases smoke, which may impair the respiratory functions of women cooking there. This paper aimed to compare the respiratory symptoms between biomass fuel users and gas fuel users in Bangladesh.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews and chest examination of 224 adult women using biomass fuel in a rural village and 196 adult women using gas fuel in an urban area.

Results: The prevalence of respiratory involvement (at least one among nine symptoms and two diseases) was significantly higher among biomass users than among gas users (29.9 vs. 11.2 %). After adjustment for potential confounders by a logistic model, the odds ratio (OR) of the biomass users for the respiratory involvement was signifcantly higher (OR = 3.23, 95 % confidence interval 1.30–8.01). The biomass fuel use elevated symptoms/diseases significantly; the adjusted OR was 3.04 for morning cough, 7.41 for nasal allergy, and 5.94 for chronic bronchitis. The mean peak expiratory flow rate of biomass users (253.83 l/min) was significantly lower than that of gas users (282.37 l/min).

Conclusions: The study shows significant association between biomass fuel use and respiratory involvement among rural women in Bangladesh, although the potential confounding of urban/rural residency could not be ruled out in the analysis. The use of smoke-free stoves and adequate ventilation along with health education to the rural population to increase awareness about the health effects of indoor biomass fuel use might have roles to prevent these involvements.

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