Ethanol Cookstoves May Reduce Hypertension During Pregnancy

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.”

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  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