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J Bras Pneumol. 2008 Sep;34(9):667-74.

Comparative study of respiratory symptoms and lung function alterations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease related to the exposure to wood and tobacco smoke.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Pulmonology Department, Federal University of Goiás, School of Medicine. Goiânia, Brazil.



To describe and analyze clinical symptoms and spirometric alterations of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and history of exposure to wood and tobacco smoke.


We retrospectively evaluated data related to 170 patients distributed into 3 groups: 34 exposed only to wood smoke, 59 patients exposed only to tobacco smoke and 77 patients exposed to both.


The groups did not differ significantly in terms of age (p = 0.225) or degree of exposure, considering each type of exposure in isolation or in combination (p = 0.164 and p = 0.220, respectively). Females predominated in the group exposed to wood smoke. There were no differences among the groups regarding respiratory symptoms (p > 0.05), and moderate dyspnea predominated in the three groups (p = 0.141). The group exposed to wood smoke presented higher percentages of forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity ratio and of forced expiratory volume in one second (p < 0.05). Positive results on bronchodilator testing occurred more frequently in the group exposed to tobacco smoke. The percentage of severe and extremely severe obstruction was significantly higher in the group exposed to tobacco smoke (44.1%) than in that exposed to wood smoke (11.8%; p = 0.006).


Respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function alterations consistent with COPD were observed in the groups of patients exposed to wood smoke. However, those alterations were not as significant as the alterations observed in the groups exposed to tobacco smoke. This study emphasizes the importance of prospective studies in evaluating the risk of wood-smoke-related COPD in Brazil, as well as the need for preventive measures in this area.

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