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Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2003 Aug;206(4-5):279-89.

The burden of disease from indoor air pollution in developing countries: comparison of estimates.

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Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, California 94720-7360, USA.


Four different methods have been applied to estimate the burden of disease due to indoor air pollution from household solid fuel use in developing countries (LDCs). The largest number of estimates involves applying exposure-response information from urban ambient air pollution studies to estimate indoor exposure concentrations of particulate air pollution. Another approach is to construct child survival curves using the results of large-scale household surveys, as has been done for India. A third approach involves cross-national analyses of child survival and household fuel use. The fourth method, referred to as the 'fuel-based' approach, which is explored in more depth here, involves applying relative risk estimates from epidemiological studies that use exposure surrogates, such as fuel type, to estimates of household solid fuel use to determine population attributable fractions by disease and age group. With this method and conservative assumptions about relative risks, 4-5 percent of the global LDC totals for both deaths and DALYs (disability adjusted life years) from acute respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tuberculosis, asthma, lung cancer, ischaemic heart disease, and blindness can be attributed to solid fuel use in developing countries. Acute respiratory infections in children under five years of age are the largest single category of deaths (64%) and DALYs (81%) from indoor air pollution, apparently being responsible globally for about 1.2 million premature deaths annually in the early 1990s.

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