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Original Research

RMJ. 2014; 39(2): 163-166

Effect of biomass fuel and natural gas combustion on pulmonary function tests (PFTs) of females living in Karachi, Pakistan

Muhammad Noman Rashid, Muhammad Asif Memon, Farah Ahmed, Beenish Noman.

Background: On the basis of extensive literature survey it has been revealed that the impact of biomass fuel use has adverse impact on human health especially lungs but some studies contradicts with these findings and stated that the pulmonary function test (PFTs) remains normal in these study group individuals. This may be due to presence of large number of confounding variables on the respiratory health effects of biomass fuel use; this cross sectional study was undertaken to understand the association between biomass fuel use and its impact on pulmonary functions.
Materials and Method: This was a cross sectional study conducted in Karachi. Total 140 females were included in this study out of which 70 were biomass fuel users and 70 were using natural gas fuel stoves. All subjects were interviewed and were subjected to pulmonary function tests. Statistical analysis was done to compare different pulmonary function tests parameters in relation to different fuel users.
Results: This study showed that biomass fuel use is an important factor for deterioration of pulmonary function in females. FEV1 (L), FEV1 (%), FVC (L) and FEV1/FVC values were lower in biomass fuel using females than nonusers (p < .001). This study observes a very high deterioration of pulmonary function in the female subjects using biomass fuel.
Conclusion: This study concludes that pulmonary functions are adversely affected in females who are using traditional biomass fuel as compare to females using natural gas fuel stoves.

Key words: Biomass fuels, Natural gas stoves; FEV1, PFT, FVC, COPD.

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