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J Asthma. 2010 Sep;47(7):735-41. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2010.485661.

Exposure to indoor biomass fuel pollutants and asthma prevalence in Southeastern Kentucky: results from the Burden of Lung Disease (BOLD) study.

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College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, U.S.A.



Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory disease, characterized by episodic and reversible airflow obstruction and airway hyperresponsiveness and is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.


The Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) survey was used to determine the prevalence of self-reported asthma in a target population of 325,000 adults aged > or =40 in Southeastern Kentucky. Postbronchodilator spirometry was used to classify subjects based on lung function. Risk factors for asthma in this population, in particular indoor usage of biomass fuels, were evaluated.


The overall study population was comprised of 508 individuals, with 15.5% reporting current asthma and 5.8% reporting former asthma. In this population, the following risk factors for asthma were identified: female sex, smoking, less than a high school education, increasing body mass index (BMI), and a history of cooking indoors with coal and wood. Cooking indoors with wood and coal for more than 6 months of one's life was shown to significantly increase the odds of reporting current asthma (odds ratio (OR) = 2.3, confidence interval (CI) 1.1, 5.0), whereas no effect was seen from a history of heating indoors with wood and coal (OR = 0.8, CI 0.4, 1.8).


Current or former asthma was reported by 21.3% of the adult population. A history of using biomass fuels when cooking indoors significantly increased the risk of reporting current asthma in this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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