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Indoor pollution from cooking on wood stoves affects women in developing countries

oke group were older, shorter and had a greater body mass than those in the tobacco smoke group.

The cumulative exposure for the wood smoke COPD patients was expressed in hour-years, the number of hours of cooking with wood stoves multiplied by the average number of hours spent daily in the kitchen. The average cumulative exposure was 214 hour-years for the wood smoke group and 56 pack years for the tobacco smokers.

"In our study, the degree of airflow limitation was worse in tobacco smokers than in subjects exposed to wood smoke," said Dr. Ramrez-Venegas. "Whether biomass exposure affects lung growth and, consequently, function in adulthood and elderly life is unclear. However, biomass smoke exposure starts early in life because women cook using wood stoves in the same room where children sleep, play and eat, increasing the risk of respiratory infections and possible reduction in lung growth. Likewise, because the girls spend more time with their mothers and help with the domestic work at a very early age, these girls as women may be more susceptible to pulmonary infection, because they may have a very long time response to biomass, lasting at least 40 to 50 years. Women stop the exposure when they leave the rural community and move to live in urban areas, such as Mexico City."

During a follow-up period of almost 7 years, 124 (26 percent) of the total patient group died. Twenty-five patients (20 percent) died as a result of biomass smoke exposure and 99 suffered from fatal COPD associated with tobacco smoke. Sixty percent of the deaths in the tobacco smoke cohort came from respiratory failure, while 48 percent of the wood smoke patients died from the same problem.


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Contact: Suzy Martin
smartin@thoracic.org
212-315-8631
American Thoracic Society
15-Feb-2006


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