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Gas cooking, respiratory and allergic outcomes in the PIAMA birth cohort study


Objectives Evidence for a relationship between gas cooking and childhood respiratory health is inconsistent and few longitudinal studies have been reported. Our aim was to examine the association between gas cooking and the development of respiratory and allergic outcomes longitudinally in a prospective birth cohort study.

Methods The Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy birth cohort study followed children from birth (1996/1997) until age 8. Annual questionnaires were used to document respiratory and allergic symptoms. Allergic sensitisation and bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) were measured at age 8 in subpopulations. A total of 3590 children were included in the present analysis. We used generalised estimating equations and discrete-time hazard models to study the overall and age-specific associations between exposure to gas cooking and the risk of developing respiratory illnesses. Sensitivity analyses of intermittent, always, current and early exposure to gas cooking were conducted.

Results Ever gas cooking exposure was associated with nasal symptoms (sneezing, runny/blocked nose without a cold) during the first 8 years of life (OR=1.32, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.59), but not with lower respiratory tract infections, eczema, allergic sensitisation and BHR. Associations with nasal symptoms were similar among children with intermittent, always, current and early exposure. Among girls only, prevalent asthma was associated with ever gas cooking (OR=1.97, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.72).

Conclusions Overall, our findings provide little evidence for an adverse effect of exposure to gas cooking on the development of asthma and allergies.

  • birth cohort
  • children
  • gas cooking
  • nasal symptoms

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