Objectives: We investigated whether exposure to biomass fuel is a potential risk factor for chronic bronchitis and asthma among females in rural area in Van (east Turkey).
Methods: The effect of indoor pollution producing various respiratory symptoms was studied in 177 females. Of these, 90 were those who used biomass fuel and 87 were nonusers of biomass fuel. A part of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey quastionnaire and British Medical Research Council questionnaire were used.
Results: Asthma related symptoms (AS) (wheezing, and combination of wheezing without a cold and wheezing with breathlessness) were reported in 63.3% of those who used biomass fuel, and in 12.9% of nonusers (p<0.0001). The use of asthma medication was reported as 3.3% of biomass fuel users, and in 2.7% of nonuser (p>0.05). Long term cough and/or morning cough together with sputum (chronic bronchitis symptoms (BS) was reported as 58.9% in the user group, and 29.4% in the nonuser group (p<0.0001). Significant differences in AS and BS were found between biomass fuel user and nonuser groups in the rural area.
Conclusions: The results of this study showed a significant association between symptoms of chronic bronchitis-asthma and biomass fuel usage in females living in a rural area.
Keywords: asthma; biomass fuel; chronic bronchitis (CB); quastionnaire.