Woodsmoke exposure and risk for obstructive airways disease among women

Chest. 1996 Jan;109(1):115-9. doi: 10.1378/chest.109.1.115.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colombia
  • Cooking
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Female
  • Gasoline / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoke / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Wood*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Gasoline
  • Smoke
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution