Use of Cooking Fuels and Cataracts

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

Use of Cooking Fuels and Cataracts

Postby Wilberforce » Thu May 26, 2016 9:22 am

Use of Cooking Fuels and Cataract in a Population-Based Study: The India Eye Disease Study

Ravilla et al


About This Article

Background: Biomass cooking fuels are commonly used by Indian households especially the poorest. Cataract is highly prevalent in India and the major cause of vision loss. The evidence on biomass fuels and cataract is limited.

Objectives: To examine the association of biomass cooking fuels with cataract and type of cataract.

Methods: We conducted a population-based study in north and south India using randomly sampled clusters to identify people aged 60 and over. Participants were interviewed for cooking fuel use, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors and attended hospital for digital lens imaging (graded using the Lens Opacity Classification System III), anthropometry and blood collection. Years of use of biomass fuels were estimated and transformed to a Standardized Normal distribution.

Results: Of 7518 people sampled, 94% were interviewed and 83% of these attended the hospital. Gender modified the association between years of biomass fuel use and cataract, adjusted Odds Ratio (OR) for a one Standard Deviation increase in years of biomass fuel use and nuclear cataract was 1.04, 95% CI (0.88-1.23) in men and 1.28, 95% CI (1.10-1.48) in women, p interaction=0.07. Kerosene use was low (10%). In women, kerosene use was associated with nuclear, OR= 1.76, 95% CI (1.04-2.97) and posterior subcapsular-cataract, OR= 1.71, 95% CI (1.10-2.64). There was no association in men.

Conclusions: Our results provide robust evidence for the association of biomass fuels with cataract in women but not in men. Our finding for kerosene and cataract in women is novel and requires confirmation in other studies.
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