Objective: To investigate if exposure to firewood smoke and other indoor pollutants is a potential risk factor for obstructive airways disease (OAD) among women in Bogota in whom cigarette smoking and other known risk factors may not be the most frequent.
Design and setting: We conducted a hospital-based case-control study to identify risk factors for OAD among women in Bogota. An interview was conducted using a modified questionnaire recommended by the American Thoracic Society for epidemiologic studies.
Patients: We compared 104 OAD cases with 104 controls matched by hospital and frequency matched by age.
Analysis: The odds ratio (OR) was used as the basic statistic to evaluate risk. Multivariate analysis (MA) was conducted by the Mantel-Haenszel procedure and by logistic regression.
Main results: Univariate analysis showed that tobacco use (OR = 2.22; p < 0.01), wood use for cooking (OR = 3.43; p < 0.001), passive smoking (OR = 2.05; p = 0.01), and gasoline use for cooking (OR = 0.52; p = 0.02) were associated with OAD. Trends for years of tobacco use and years of wood cooking were present (p < 0.05). After MA, variables remained significant except gasoline use.
Conclusions: This study showed that among elderly women of low socioeconomic status in Bogota, woodsmoke exposure is associated with the development of OAD and may help explain around 50% of all OAD cases. The role of passive smoking remains to be clarified. This work may set the basis for interventional studies in similar settings.