Clean Cooking Fuel Lowers Blood PressureJune 6, 2017 at 8:55 am
By Jadwiga A. Wedzicha, MD, editor, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
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In the first randomized, controlled trial of a clean-burning cooking fuel, researchers found that the intervention led to lower diastolic blood pressure in pregnant women (mean age 28), compared to those cooking with kerosene or firewood. Donee Alexander and colleagues report in their June 15 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine that the diastolic blood pressure of women who cooked with a clean-burning ethanol cookstove was 2.8 mmHg lower than women in the control group. In addition, 1.9 percent of those in the intervention arm were hypertensive at the end of the study, compared to 6.4 percent of controls. Women were enrolled in the study if they were the household’s primary cook and less than 18 weeks pregnant; the 324 participants were evenly divided between the study’s intervention and control arms. Systolic blood pressure did not differ significantly between the two groups.
The authors conclude: “This study demonstrates that clean cookstove interventions have the potential to impact the health of pregnant women, though intervention is both a challenging task and a complex process.”
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