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Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2016 Mar;22(2):150-7. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000246.

Biomass smoke exposure and chronic lung disease.

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aDivision of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USAbArmed Forces Medical College, Near Base Hospital, Brar Square, New Delhi, India.



Approximately 3 billion people worldwide rely on coal and biomass fuel for cooking and heating. Biomass smoke exposure is associated with several chronic lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma-COPD overlap syndrome, usual interstitial pneumonitis, hut lung, and bronchial anthracofibrosis. Household air pollution primarily from biomass smoke is the biggest risk factor for COPD worldwide. Despite the significant burden of biomass smoke-related respiratory disease, the exposure is still underappreciated worldwide, especially in high-income countries.


Recent literature highlights the immunoinflammatory differences between biomass smoke-related COPD and tobacco smoke-related COPD that may lead to better understanding of the differences in the clinical phenotypes between the two entities, suggests an association with the recently recognized asthma-COPD overlap syndrome, and elucidates the burden of disease in high-income countries.


The current review focuses on the association between biomass smoke and common chronic respiratory diseases, discuss differences between biomass smoke-related COPD and tobacco smoke-related COPD, highlights chronic respiratory diseases that are specific for biomass smoke exposure such as hut lung and bronchial anthracofibrosis, and discusses the known impact of beneficial interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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