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Publication Date


Publication Title

Glob Heart


Background: Exposure to household air pollution (HAP) from cooking with biomass fuel affects billions of people. We hypothesized that HAP from woodsmoke, compared to other household fuels, was associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes, of which there have been few studies.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was completed in 299 females aged 40-70 years in Kaski District, Nepal, during 2017-18. All participants underwent a standard 12-lead ECG, ankle and brachial systolic blood pressure measurement, and 2D color and Doppler echocardiography. Current stove type was confirmed by inspection. Blood pressure, height, and weight were measured using a standardized protocol. Hypertension was defined as ≥140/90 mmHg or prior diagnosis. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) was obtained, with diabetes mellitus defined as a prior diagnosis or HbA1C ≥ 6.5%. We used adjusted linear and logistic multivariable regressions to examine the relationship of stove type with cardiac structure and function.

Results: The majority of women primarily used liquified petroleum gas (LPG) stoves (65%), while 12% used biogas, and 23% used wood-burning cook-stoves. Prevalence of major cardiovascular risk factors was 35% with hypertension, 19% with diabetes mellitus, and 15% current smokers. After adjustment, compared to LPG, wood stove use was associated with increased indexed left atrial volume (β = 3.15, 95% CI 1.22 to 5.09) and increased indexed left ventricular end diastolic volume (β = 7.97, 95% CI 3.11 to 12.83). There was no association between stove type and systemic hypertension, left ventricular mass, systolic dysfunction, diastolic dysfunction, pulmonary hypertension, abnormal ankle-brachial index, or clinically significant ECG abnormalities.

Conclusion: Biomass fuel use was associated with increased indexed left atrial volume and increased indexed left ventricular diastolic volume in Nepali women, suggesting subclinical adverse cardiac remodeling from HAP in this cross-sectional study. We did not find evidence of an association with hypertension or typical cardiac sequelae of hypertension. Future studies to confirm these results are needed.

Clinical Institute

Cardiovascular (Heart)

Clinical Institute

Women & Children



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