Aug 11, 1998

Indoor biofuel air pollution and respiratory health: the role of confounding factors among women in highland Guatemala

International Journal of Epidemiology
Nigel BruceC West


A number of studies have reported associations between indoor biofuel air pollution in developing countries and chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) in adults and acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in children. Most of these studies have used indirect measures of exposure and generally dealt inadequately with confounding. More reliable, quantified information about this presumed effect is an important pre-requisite for prevention, not least because of the technical, economic and cultural barriers to achieving substantial exposure reductions in the world's poorest households, where ambient pollution levels are typically between ten and a hundred times higher than recommended standards. This study was carried out as part of a programme of research designed to inform the development of intervention studies capable of providing quantified estimates of health benefits. The association between respiratory symptoms and the use of open fires and chimney woodstoves ('planchas'), and the distribution of confounding factors, were examined in a cross-sectional study of 340 women aged 15-45 years, living in a poor rural area in the western highlands of Guatemala. The prevalence of reported cough and phlegm was significantly higher ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Observational Study
Upper Respiratory Tract Mucus
Bone Cements
Reinforcing Factors
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Respiratory Tract Infections

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