Does Exposure To Household and Ambient Air Pollution Pose a Risk To Cardiovascular Health? - A Cross-Sectional Study in Nepal


  • Om P Kurmi Clinical Trial Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford, OX3 7LF, UK.


Indoor air pollution - Biomass smoke - Cardiovascular risk - Systolic blood pressure - Diastolic blood pressure - Hypertension.



Over half the world’s population is exposed daily to very high levels of household air pollutants arising from burning biomass fuels; however the effects of these pollutants on cardiovascular health have not been fully established. This study aimed to compare the relationship between household indoor and outdoor air pollution with cardiovascular health in biomass and non-biomass exposed group.


To compare the relationship between household indoor and outdoor air pollution with cardiovascular health in biomass and non-biomass exposed group.


This cross-sectional study compared parameters of cardiovascular health in populations exposed to household indoor pollutants from biomass burning and non-biomass respectively among adults in Nepal. Data using an interviewer administered questionnaire including chest pain, blood pressure measurements and real-time measurements of household and ambient airborne particulate (PM2.5) concentrations were collected.


Rural dwellers cooking with biomass fuels reported significantly more chest pain on exertion compared with non-biomass fuel users. 24-hour direct PM2.5 and CO measurements were not associated with changes in blood pressure as was the case for other measures of airborne particulate exposure except outdoor PM2.5 with men in non-biomass using households. Ambient temperature and seasonality was negatively associated with increase in blood pressure. The prevalence of both systolic (21% vs. 6%, p<0.001) and diastolic (32% vs. 7%, p<0.001) hypertension was higher amongst non-biomass fuel users compared with biomass users.


There was no association between 24-hour real-time airborne pollutants data from biomass smoke and cardiovascular health effects but significantly more chest pain on exertion was found in those exposed to smoke from biomass fuel burning. Urban dwellers in Nepal were found to have higher blood pressure compared to rural dwellers, which was associated with their higher BMI levels and seasonality.



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How to Cite

Kurmi, O. P. (2013). Does Exposure To Household and Ambient Air Pollution Pose a Risk To Cardiovascular Health? - A Cross-Sectional Study in Nepal. International Journal of Public Health Research, 3(2), 353–369. Retrieved from