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Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2013 Nov-Dec;59(6):607-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ramb.2013.09.001. Epub 2013 Nov 8.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in women exposed to wood stove smoke.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Serviço de Pneumologia, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, GO, Brasil. Electronic address:



To identify respiratory symptoms and COPD (forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second ratio < 0.70 and below the lower limit of normal) in non-smoking women with history of exposure to wood smoke of at least 80 hours-years.


One hundred sixty nonsmoking women were included. Demographic data and information about symptoms and other environmental exposures were collected. All women underwent spirometry and those with COPD also had their lung volumes measured.


The COPD group had greater exposure in years to wood smoke (p = 0.043), greater length of rural residence (p = 0.042) and the same length of passive smoking (p = 0.297) and farm work (p = 0.985). Cough (69.8%), sputum (55.8%) and wheezing (67.4%) predominated in the COPD group (p < 0.001) compared to those without COPD (40.2%, 27.4%, 33, 3%, respectively). The COPD patients had mild to moderate obstructive disturbance and normal lung volumes, except that the residual volume and total lung capacity ratio (RV/TLC) > 0.40 in 45%, which correlated negatively with forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and FEV1/vital forced capacity ratio (FEV1/FVC).


Women with prolonged exposure to wood smoke had predominantly mild to moderate COPD. Those without COPD had a high prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms, justifying clinical and spirometric monitoring.


Biomass; Biomassa; Doença pulmonar obstrutiva crônica; Fumaça; Pulmonary disease chronic obstructive; Smoke

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