Indoor air pollution from solid fuel use, chronic lung diseases and lung cancer in Harbin, Northeast China

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2008 Oct;17(5):473-8. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e328305a0b9.


In some areas of China, indoor air pollution (IAP) originating principally from the combustion of solid fuels has a relevant role in lung cancer. Most previous studies focused on the female population and only a few on both the sexes. We analyzed the relationship between IAP from solid fuel use and selected chronic lung diseases and lung cancer risk in Harbin, Northeast China, an area with a very high base line risk of lung cancer for both the sexes. We used data from a case-control study conducted between 1987 and 1990, including 218 patients with incident, histologically confirmed lung cancer and 436 controls admitted to the same hospitals as cases. We calculated an index of IAP from solid fuel use exposure using data on heating type, cooking fuel used, and house measurements. Cases reported more frequently than controls an exposure to coal fuel for house heating and/or cooking, and the odds ratio (OR) for ever versus never exposed was 2.19 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08-4.46]. The ORs of lung cancer according to subsequent tertiles of IAP exposure index were 1.82 (95% CI: 1.14-2.89) and 1.99 (95% CI: 1.26-3.15) as compared with the lowest tertile. The ORs of lung cancer for participants with a history of chronic bronchitis and tuberculosis were 3.79 (95% CI: 2.38-6.02) and 3.82 (95% CI: 1.97-7.41), respectively. This study gives further support and quantification of the positive association between IAP, history of selected nonmalignant lung diseases, and lung cancer risk for both the sexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • China / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Coal / adverse effects*
  • Cooking / methods
  • Female
  • Heating / adverse effects
  • Heating / methods
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / epidemiology
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects


  • Coal
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution