Evaluation of Biomass Exposure-Associated Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease at a Tertiary Care Hospital

Context: Exposure to smoke from biomass fuel has been established as a causative factor of irreversible airway obstruction in recent GOLD update. India harbouring a vast majority of rural population may have significant population suffering from airway obstruction due to biomass exposure. Research on similarities and differences in airway disease produced by exposure to biomass fuel smoke while cooking vs. smoking tobacco may provide new insights on such entity. The study aims to evaluate women population presenting with COPD symptoms and their spirometry similarities with smoking related COPD.

Settings and design: It was a prospective study conducted in a tertiary care hospital.

Subjects and methods: Stable COPD patients presenting to chest OPD were taken as study group. Equal number of healthy controls were enrolled. COPD patients were subjected to detailed clinical evaluation and lung function test. History of biomass exposure was evaluated from both groups through self-reporting. Biomass related COPD patients were identified, and their prevalence and distinguishing features evaluated.

Results: Of 85 COPD patients, 43 (50.6%) had history of exposure to biomass. Patients with biomass-associated COPD were invariably females while others were males. The airflow limitation was similar in both groups.

Conclusion: BS-COPD constitutes a significant proportion of overall COPD prevalence. In view of its preponderance among females, biomass alternatives must be provided to rural population which can significantly reduce the burden of disease.


Rao K, Vamshi K, Bhaskar L, Surendar Reddy K and Waghray P

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