Article Text

other Versions

PDF
Original article
Does household use of biomass fuel cause lung cancer? A systematic review and evaluation of the evidence for the GBD 2010 study
  1. Nigel Bruce1,
  2. Mukesh Dherani1,
  3. Rui Liu2,
  4. H Dean Hosgood III3,4,
  5. Amir Sapkota5,
  6. Kirk R Smith2,
  7. Kurt Straif6,
  8. Qing Lan3,
  9. Daniel Pope1
  1. 1Department of Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, California, USA
  3. 3Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  4. 4Division of Epidemiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA
  5. 5Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, University of Maryland, School of Public Health, College Park, Maryland, USA
  6. 6International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nigel G Bruce, Department of Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool, Whelan Building, Quadrangle, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK; ngb{at}liv.ac.uk

Abstract

Background Around 2.4 billion people use traditional biomass fuels for household cooking or heating. In 2006, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded emissions from household coal combustion are a Group 1 carcinogen, while those from biomass were categorised as 2A due to epidemiologic limitations. This review updates the epidemiologic evidence and provides risk estimates for the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study.

Methods Searches were conducted of 10 databases to July 2012 for studies of clinically diagnosed or pathologically confirmed lung cancer associated with household biomass use for cooking and/or heating.

Findings Fourteen eligible studies of biomass cooking or heating were identified: 13 had independent estimates (12 cooking only), all were case-control designs and provided 8221 cases and 11 342 controls. The ORs for lung cancer risk with biomass for cooking and/or heating were OR 1.17 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.37) overall, and 1.15 (95% CI 0.97 to 1.37) for cooking only. Publication bias was not detected, but more than half the studies did not explicitly describe a clean reference category. Sensitivity analyses restricted to studies with adequate adjustment and a clean reference category found ORs of 1.21 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.39) for men (two reports, compiling five studies) and 1.95 (95% CI 1.16 to 3.27) for women (five reports, compiling eight studies). Exposure–response evidence was seen for men, and higher risk for women in developing compared with developed countries, consistent with higher exposures in the former.

Conclusions There is now stronger evidence for biomass fuel use causing lung cancer, but future studies need better exposure assessment to strengthen exposure–response evidence.

  • Lung Cancer
  • Clinical Epidemiology

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.