Ethanol Cookstoves May Reduce Hypertension During Pregnancy

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Using ethanol cookstoves is linked to a decrease in diastolic blood pressure and hypertension.
Using ethanol cookstoves is linked to a decrease in diastolic blood pressure and hypertension.

HealthDay News -- Use of ethanol cookstoves is associated with a reduction in diastolic blood pressure and hypertension for pregnant women in Nigeria, according to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Donee Alexander, PhD, from the Center for Global Health at the University of Chicago, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial in Nigeria to examine the ability of a clean cookstove intervention to lower BP in pregnancy. Pregnant women cooking with kerosene or firewood were randomized to ethanol or control arms (162 each). During 6 antenatal visits, BP measurements were taken.

The researchers found that over time, the change in DBP differed significantly for ethanol users and controls (P =.040); systolic BP (SBP) did not differ between the groups (P =.86). There was no significant intervention effect for SBP in subgroup analyses, while a significant difference was seen for DBP among pre-intervention kerosene users (P =.031). Mean DBP was 2.8 mm Hg higher in controls vs ethanol users at the last visit; among pre-intervention kerosene users, mean DBP was 3.6 mm Hg greater in controls than ethanol users. Overall, 6.4% and 1.9% of controls and ethanol users, respectively, had hypertension (P =.051); among pre-intervention kerosene users, 8.8% and 1.8%, respectively, had hypertension (P =.029).

"Ethanol cookstoves have potential to reduce DBP and hypertension during pregnancy," the researchers wrote. "Accordingly, clean cooking fuels may reduce adverse health impacts associated with household air pollution."

Reference

  1. Alexander D, Northcross A, Wilson N, et al. Randomized controlled ethanol cookstove intervention and blood pressure in pregnant Nigerian women [published online January 12, 2017]. J Am Respir Crit Care Med. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201606-1177OC
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