Study in JEAEE Vol. 14 Suppl 1 by Schei et al. about estimated prevalence and severity of asthma symptoms due to indoor cooking woodsmoke

“Schei MA, Hessen JO, Smith KR, Bruce N, McCraken J, Lopez V. 2004. Childhood asthma and indoor woodsmoke from cooking in Guatemala. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology, 14 (Suppl 1): S110-S117. This childhood asthma study, the first in a purely indigenous (and rural) population in Latin America, estimated prevalence and severity of asthma and the association with cooking on open wood fires compared to improved stoves with chimneys (called planchas). Mothers of 1058 Mam speaking (Mayan) 4-6 year old children, who lived at high altitude in the Western Highlands region of Guatemala, were interviewed using the standardized ISAAC questionnaire. The prevalence of the asthma symptoms (severity criteria) studied, including wheezing in the last 12 months, was higher in children from households cooking on open wood fires. Overall, 7.2% of children were reported as ever”” wheezing, 3.3% of children were reported as wheezing one or more times in the last 12 months, 17% of children had nighttime cough in the last 12 months, and 2.6% (95% confidence interval 1.6-3.6) of the children had been diagnosed with asthma. The authors concluded the data suggested the use of an open fire with wood for cooking– and perhaps heating depending on time of day– may be a risk factor for the prevalence and severity of asthma symptoms.”””

Share