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Gas cooking has a harmful effect on the lung function of adolescents

June 17, 2001

Effect of gas cooking on lung function in adolescents: modifying role of sex and immunoglobin E 2001; 56:536-540

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Gas cooking has a harmful effect on the lung function of girls who are susceptible to allergies, concludes research in Thorax.

Over 700 Italian school children aged 11-13 years were interviewed by a physician and categorised according to how often they were in the kitchen while the mother cooked using a gas stove. Lung function measurements were taken and skin prick tests were used to evaluate susceptibility to eight common allergens. Blood samples were also collected to determine serum IgE level: a marker of allergic susceptibility. The results were analysed separately for boys and girls.

There was no association between time spent in the kitchen and lung function level in boys, but a reduction in lung function was detected in girls. The team then stratified boys and girls into four groups on the basis of their serum IgE level. The reduction in lung function was significant in girls with a high IgE value whereas no significant deleterious effects were evident in girls with a low IgE value or in boys with either a low or high IgE.

At present, the relationship between exposure to gas stoves and susceptibility to allergies is not fully understood, explain the authors. Although conclusions based on these results could be limited by the design and the relatively small size of the sample, they suggest that kitchen emissions merit inspection and appropriate ventilation to protect lung health.
-end-
Contact:

Dr G M Corbo, Respiratory Physiology Department, Catholic University, Rome, Italy

Tel: 39-0630-154-236
gmcorbo@yahoo.com

BMJ Specialty Journals

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