Cooking fuels use and carotid intima-media thickness during early pregnancy of women in Myanmar
Fuels burned in households for cooking cause indoor air pollution, exposing those who are cooking. Despite the mounting evidence of the effects of fuels use on health, few studies focus on the effect of cooking fuels have on carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), a surrogate atherosclerosis biomarker in the early stages of pregnancy. This study aimed to examine the association between the use of cooking fuels and CIMT during early trimester of pregnancy among cooking women in Myanmar. In this
... Myanmar. In this cross-sectional study, a part of an ongoing birth cohort analysis, a total of 192 cooking pregnant women over 18 years with gestational weeks less than 18 were recruited from 15 rural health centers in Nay Pyi Taw from September to November 2019. Sociodemographic data, residential data, and fuels use data were collected with semi-structured questionnaires in face-to-face interviews. Anthropometric, hemodynamic, blood lipids, and ultrasound CIMT measurements were performed under standard protocols. Multiple linear regression was modeled to explore associations. The study included 70 firewood fuel users, 26 charcoal fuel users, and 96 electricity fuel users. Following adjustments for potential confounding factors, firewood use was significantly associated with the increase of all CIMT analyzed. Importantly, a greater increase of mean CIMT of the right common carotid artery (RCCA; β = 0.033 mm; 95%CI: 0.006, 0.058; P<0.05) had significant association with charcoal use compared to firewood use (β = 0.029 mm; 95%CI: 0.010, 0.049; P<0.05). Our findings demonstrate that the indoor use of cooking fuels that cause indoor air pollution, such as firewood and charcoal, is a considerable risk factor for human health and is associated with increased CIMT, wherein charcoal use contributes to more increase of mean CIMT of the RCCA. Measures to prevent health risks related to the use of such fuels should be instituted early on during pregnancy.