University of Tasmania

File(s) not publicly available

Exposure to household air pollution over 10 years is related to asthma and lung function decline

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 02:09 authored by Dai, X, Bui, DS, Perret, JL, Lowe, AJ, Frith, PA, Bowatte, G, Thomas, PS, Giles, GG, Hamilton, GS, Tsimiklis, H, Hui, J, Burgess, J, Win, AK, Abramson, MJ, Eugene WaltersEugene Walters, Dharmage, SC, Lodge, CJ

Introduction: We investigated if long-term household air pollution (HAP) is associated with asthma and lung function decline in middle-aged adults, and whether these associations were modified by glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene variants, ventilation and atopy.

Materials and methods: Prospective data on HAP (heating, cooking, mould and smoking) and asthma were collected in the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TAHS) at mean ages 43 and 53 years (n=3314). Subsamples had data on lung function (n=897) and GST gene polymorphisms (n=928). Latent class analysis was used to characterise longitudinal patterns of exposure. Regression models assessed associations and interactions.

Results: We identified seven longitudinal HAP profiles. Of these, three were associated with persistent asthma, greater lung function decline and % reversibility by age 53 years compared with the "Least exposed" reference profile for those who used reverse-cycle air conditioning, electric cooking and no smoking. The "All gas" (OR 2.64, 95% CI 1.22-5.70), "Wood heating/smoking" (OR 2.71, 95% CI 1.21-6.05) and "Wood heating/gas cooking" (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.11-6.11) profiles were associated with persistent asthma, as well as greater lung function decline and % reversibility. Participants with the GSTP1 Ile/Ile genotype were at a higher risk of asthma or greater lung function decline when exposed compared with other genotypes. Exhaust fan use and opening windows frequently may reduce the adverse effects of HAP produced by combustion heating and cooking on current asthma, presumably through increasing ventilation.

Conclusions: Exposures to wood heating, gas cooking and heating, and tobacco smoke over 10 years increased the risks of persistent asthma, lung function decline and % reversibility, with evidence of interaction by GST genes and ventilation.


Publication title

European Respiratory Journal






Tasmanian School of Medicine


European Respiratory Society

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


    Ref. manager