What is the COPD risk in solid fuel smoke exposure?

January 01, 0001

What is the COPD risk in solid fuel smoke exposure?

Solid fuels are used broadly throughout the world as an energy source. Their combustion has been linked to COPD, but the magnitude of the association is unclear. These UK researchers performed a systematic review to quantify the impact of solid fuel smoke on the development of COPD. They included studies with sufficient statistical power so that the risk of COPD could be calculated. The results were pooled by fuel type and country to produce summary estimates using a random effects model.

The authors found: "There were positive associations between the use of solid fuels and COPD (OR=2.80) and chronic bronchitis (OR=2.32). Pooled estimates for different types of fuel show that exposure to wood smoke while performing domestic work presents a greater risk of development of COPD and chronic bronchitis than other fuels."

The authors concluded: "Despite heterogeneity across the selected studies, exposure to solid fuel smoke is consistently associated with COPD and chronic bronchitis. Efforts should be made to reduce exposure to solid fuel by using either cleaner fuel or relatively cleaner technology while performing domestic work."

This systematic review finds that wood smoke exposure in particular is linked with COPD and chronic bronchitis.

For the full abstract, click here.

Thorax 65(3):221-228, March 2010
© 2010 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Thoracic Society
COPD and chronic bronchitis risk of indoor air pollution from solid fuel: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Om P Kurmi, Sean Semple, Padam Simkhada, W Cairns S Smith, Jon G Ayres. Correspondence to Om P Kurmi: o.kurmi@bham.ac.uk

Category: R. Respiratory. Keywords: COPD, chronic bronchitis, solid fuels, biomass fuel, woodsmoke, systematic review and meta-analysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 25 May 2010

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