Source: Accinelli RA, et al. Respirology. 2016;doi: 10.1111/resp.12865.
November 30, 2016
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Rates of pediatric pneumonia associated with use of solid fuels

Source: Accinelli RA, et al. Respirology. 2016;doi: 10.1111/resp.12865.
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A recent ecological study found links between current country rates of pneumonia and the use of solid fuels among children; however, reducing indoor fuel pollution through efficient stoves can decrease child mortality and morbidity.

Traditionally, poverty is the underlying factor accounting for child mortality due to pneumonia, but the independent role of solid fuel use yielding biomass pollution on pneumonia is uncertain among children rates.

“Acute respiratory infections are the leading cause of death in the pediatric age range, with indoor air pollution, crowding and other factors associated with poverty playing major roles in the prevalence of [acute lower respiratory infections (ALRIs)],” Roberto A. Accinelli, MD, from the department of medicine at Cayetano Heredia Hospital, and colleagues wrote. “We examined whether an independent association at the global level emerges between solid fuel use patterns and the incidence of pneumonia in young children (< 5 years of age) even after accounting for other known factors such as poverty.”

The investigators performed multivariate linear regression analyses to evaluate possible links between socioeconomic variables and pneumonia incidence in children aged younger than 5 years using risk factors associated with higher incidence of disease, morbidity, or mortality rates. They assessed the percentage of solid fuel use, tobacco consumption, water access source and sanitation facilities, and independent socioeconomic factors for each country from available public databases.

Accinelli and colleagues constructed two multivariate models that showed significant association between solid fuel use and pneumonia rates in children aged younger than 5 years per year in every country. These models accounted for roughly 87% of the variance and included solid fuel use, tobacco-use prevalence, access to sanitation and electricity, measles immunization, and the Human Development Index (HDI).

Researchers found children living in countries with the highest solid fuel use showed a sevenfold annual increase in the rate of pneumonia compared to children living in countries with the lowest solid fuel use. They also associated measles immunization, access to electricity, prevalence of tobacco use and sanitation access with pneumonia rates in children aged younger than 5 years.

“Current findings suggest that programs aimed at reducing solid fuel use may provide the desired feasibility in the context of pneumonia mortality among young children,” Accinelli and colleagues wrote. “Prospective interventions aimed at reducing indoor solid fuel biomass pollution through implementation of efficient stoves are likely to translate in important decreases in child mortality and morbidity.” – by Savannah Demko

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.