-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Reductions in air
pollution from wood-burning stoves led to a lower risk of death
among residents of an Australian community -- especially among men,
a new study suggests.
For the study, researchers looked at data from Launceston -- a
city in the state of Tasmania -- where efforts to encourage the use
of electric heating and reduce wood smoke pollution began in 2001.
As a result, the use of wood stoves fell from 66 percent to 30
percent of homes, leading to a 40 percent decrease in wood smoke
pollution during the winter.
The reductions in deaths between 1994-2001 and 2001-2007 for
males and females combined were not considered statistically
significant: less than 3 percent for all causes, 5 percent for
cardiovascular-related death and about 8 percent for
But reductions were deemed significant when the researchers
looked at men alone: about 11 percent for all causes, 18 percent
for cardiovascular-related death and nearly 23 percent for
respiratory-related death, according to the study published online
Jan. 8 in the
Reductions during the winter months (June to August) were even
higher: 20 percent for cardiovascular-related deaths and 28 percent
for respiratory-related deaths, reported Fay Johnston, of the
University of Tasmania, and colleagues.
The findings suggest that male deaths from all causes, but
particularly cardiovascular- and respiratory-related causes, could
be significantly lowered by reducing exposure to wood smoke, the
study authors concluded.
While the study found an association between lower rates of
death among men and reduced use of wood stoves, it did not prove a
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers an overview of
indoor air quality.
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