New stove dramatically improves lung health in Mexican women
The study, which reviewed the first year of data in an ongoing project examining the impact of the use of stoves ventilation over traditional open fires inside was reported in the October 1 issue American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.
An estimated two million people around the world rely on biomass fuels for cooking, usually without ventilation for indoor fires. These fires in generating high levels of indoor pollutants like carbon monoxide, particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. A recent analysis puts the exposure to indoor smoke from biomass among the best in the world, ten environmental causes of mortality and morbidity.
The “Patsari” the stove was designed to address this problem, and has been shown in previous research to reduce concentrations of indoor air pollution by an average of 70 percent. However, until now, no research has directly assessed the effects on the health of women who use them.
“We wanted to know if the stove Patsari make a measurable difference in the health of the people he was using,” said Horacio Riojas Rodriguez of the National Public Health Institute, and researcher in the study.
To this end, Dr. Riojas and colleagues followed women in over 500 homes in central Mexico, which had been randomly selected to receive the new Patsari stove at baseline or at the time of its conclusion. Each participant answered a symptom questionnaire at baseline and every month after ten months. They also underwent an average of four tests of spirometry during the study.
Less than a third of women assigned to receive the stove Patsari reported “mainly” to use it, and another 20 percent said they used in conjunction with the fireplace, and half reported using mainly traditional open wood fire, despite have been assigned to the intervention group.
While the intent to treat analysis showed no significant differences between control and intervention groups, when the researchers analyzed using the stove Patsari against which there was no strong evidence that the use of stoves was associated Patsari with marked improvements in respiratory health.
“During the 12 months follow up, use the stove Patsari showed a protective effect on respiratory symptoms and others and a tendency to improve lung function which is comparable to quitting smoking,” said Dr. Riojas.
In fact, women who had used the stove Patsari half the decline in a key measure of lung function, forced expiratory volume in one second, or FEV1-that women who used open wood fires. Among those who use the stove Patsari, the loss was 31 ml over a year, compared with 62 ml over a year for users chimney, an effect similar to that seen in the abandonment of snuff.
“These findings help support every idea that the intervention programs on the stove in the developing world can improve health when women adhere to the intervention,” wrote Luke Naeher, Ph.D., associate professor University of Georgia, in an accompanying editorial. He added that the study “helps to highlight both the tremendous potential of these programs in the developing world to improve health and quality of life, and also the great need for further research to help us understand how best to implement these programs. ”
Dr. Riojas and his colleagues are investigating exactly that ongoing work is to increase the adoption of new kitchens in the homes of study. “According to the nongovernmental organization that works with these communities, membership has grown to more than 70 percent from the year when the study covered by this work done,” said Dr. Riojas.