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Evaluation of mucociliary clearance among women using biomass and clean fuel in a periurban area of Chennai: A preliminary study

Author(s): Priscilla Johnson | Padmavathi Ramaswamy | Ghosh Santu | Paul Preetha | Ramadoss Sitalakshmi | Balakrishnan Kalpana | Thanasekaraan Vijayalakshmi | Subhashini A

Journal: Lung India
ISSN 0970-2113

Volume: 28;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 30;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Biomass fuel users | nasal mucociliary clearance | saccharin test

Background: Nasal mucociliary clearance (NMC) plays a crucial role in the defense of the airways against inhaled substances and is affected by various factors. The effect of particulate matter on NMC in women using biomass fuel has not been well studied. Aim: This cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the NMC time in biomass fuel users and compare it with that of clean fuel users. Materials and Methods: NMC time and Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) were determined in women of age ranging from 18 to 45 years using biomass fuel (n=30) and clean fuel (n=30). The time taken to perceive the sweet taste, following placement of saccharin 1 cm behind the anterior end of inferior turbinate was recorded as NMC time. PEFR was measured using mini-Wright peak flow meter. Comparison between groups was analyzed using t-test and ANOVA in R statistical software. Results: NMC time was significantly prolonged in biomass fuel users (765.8 ± 378.16 s) in comparison to clean fuel users (545.4 ± 215.55 s). PEFR was significantly reduced (319.3 l/min) in biomass fuel users compared to clean fuel users (371.7 l/min). Women from lower socioeconomic status, lower literacy status, older undernourished women and women cooking for >15 years had prolonged Saccharin Transit Time (STT) and reduced PEFR. Conclusions: This study highlights the effects of indoor air pollution on respiratory defense mechanism. This simple noninvasive, inexpensive, screening test can be used as an early indicator of respiratory damage caused by exposure to air pollutants.
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