Respiratory symptom and illness prevalence in relation to biomass fuel use in Chan Aye Thar Zan Township, Mandalay city, Mandalay Region, Myanmar / Moe Myint Theingi Tun = อาการของระบบทางเดินหายใจ การเจ็บป่วย และความชุกที่สัมพันธ์กับการใช้เชื้อเพลิงมวลชีวภาพ ในชานเอธาร์ซานทาวน์ชิฟ เมืองมันฑะเลย์ ภูมิภาคมันฑะเลย์ ประเทศพม่า
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Chan Aye Thar Zan Township, Mandalay City, Mandalay Region, Myanmar, in March, 2012, with the purpose of ascertaining associations between using biomass fuel (wood or charcoal) for cooking and prevalences of respiratory symptoms and illnesses in mothers, fathers, and children <5 years old. This study was conducted in 425 households, using a standardized interviewer-administered questionnaire. Biomass fuel was used in 273 households (64.2%). In addition to biomass fuel use, prevalences were evaluated in relation to other cooking-related variables, other environmental characteristics, and socio-demographic variables. Seven, six, and five types of prevalences were assessed in children, mothers, and fathers, respectively (total 18). In a bivariate analysis, each independent variable was assessed separately in relation to each type of prevalence. First-stage multivariable logistic regression models were then constructed for each type of prevalence; biomass cooking and other independent variables for which p<0.15 in bivariate analysis were included in these. Second-stage multivaiable logistic models were then constructed for each type of prevalence; biomass cooking and all independent variables for which p<0.15 in first-stage models were included. In these models, biomass fuel use was positively associated with 16 of 18 types of prevalence assessed (88.9%). Positive associations were statistically significant (p≤0.05) or marginally significant (0.05<p≤0.10) for cough, phlegm, wheeze, shortness of breath, and respiratory colds in mothers; cough and wheeze in fathers; and cough, phlegm, wheeze, colds, diagnosed pneumonia in the past 12 months, and diagnosed tuberculosis in children. These results strongly suggest that household biomass fuel use impairs respiratory health in Mandalay, especially in mothers and young children. It appears highly likely that reduction in biomass fuel use would improve respiratory health.