Use of solid fuels for cooking increases the risk of both cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease

In May 2019 researchers from the USA, Canada, Brazil, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Philippines, South Africa, India, Chile, China, Colombia, Bangladesh and Canada published the results of their study to assess the association between household air pollution and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. A total of 91,350 adults, aged between 35-70 years, in 11 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe) were involved in the study. During a follow-up period of 9 years, 6,595 deaths, 5,472 diagnoses of cardiovascular disease (death or non-fatal heart attacks, stroke or heart failure), and 2,436 diagnoses of respiratory disease (death or nonfatal chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary tuberculosis, pneumonia, or lung cancer). Information on mode of cooking, ie solid fuel, electricity or gas, was collected which revealed that 42% of individuals lived in households using solid fuel as their main cooking fuel. Results showed that use of solid fuels for cooking increased the risk of both fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease and of fatal and non-fatal respiratory disease. It was noted that there were small differences not only across the regions studied but also across individual and household characteristics.

Hystad P et al. Health Effects of Household Solid Fuel Use: Findings from 11 Countries within the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology Study. Environ Health Perspect. 2019 May;127(5):57003

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