Send to

Choose Destination
Chronic Obstr Pulm Dis. 2014 May 6;1(1):23-32. doi: 10.15326/jcopdf.1.1.2013.0004.

Clinical Characteristics of Patients With Biomass Smoke-Associated COPD and Chronic Bronchitis, 2004-2014.

Author information

Sleep Clinic, National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Mexico City.
COPD and Smoking Clinic, National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Mexico City.


Individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) associated with biomass smoke inhalation tend to be women born in rural areas with lifelong exposure to open fires while cooking, but can also include persons with prenatal and childhood exposure. Compared with individuals with COPD due to tobacco smoking, individuals exposed to biomass smoke uncommonly have severe airflow obstruction, low diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) or emphysema in high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) but cough, phlegm and airway thickening and air trapping are very common. Autopsies of patients with COPD from biomass smoke exposure show increased pulmonary artery small vessel intimal thickening which may explain pulmonary hypertension, in addition to emphysema and airway disease. Research on similarities and differences in lung damage produced by exposure to biomass fuel smoke while cooking vs. smoking tobacco may provide new insights on COPD. As a public health problem, COPD caused by inhalation of smoke from burning solid fuel is as relevant as COPD caused by smoking tobacco but mainly affects women and children from disadvantaged areas and countries and requires an organized effort for its control. Improved vented biomass stoves are currently the most feasible intervention, but even more efficient stoves are necessary to reduce the biomass smoke exposure and reduce incidence of COPD among this population.


biomass; copd; improved biomass stove; indoor pollution; tobacco smoking

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for COPD Foundation Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center