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Accruing epidemiological evidence suggests that prenatal exposure to emissions from cooking fuel is associated with increased risks of adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes including hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, low birth weight, stillbirth and infant mortality. We aimed to investigate the relationship between cooking fuel use and various pregnancy related outcomes in a cohort of urban women from the Accra region of Ghana. Self-reported cooking fuel use was divided into "polluting" (wood, charcoal, crop residue and kerosene) and "clean" fuels (liquid petroleum gas and electricity) to examine 12 obstetric outcomes in a prospective cohort of pregnant women (N = 1010) recruited at < 17 weeks of gestation from Accra, Ghana. Logistic and multivariate linear regression analyses adjusted for BMI, maternal age, maternal education and socio-economic status asset index was conducted. 34% (n = 279) of 819 women with outcome data available for analysis used polluting fuel as their main cooking fuel. Using polluting cooking fuels was associated with perinatal mortality (aOR: 7.6, 95%CI: 1.67-36.0) and an adverse Apgar score (< 7) at 5 min (aOR:3.83, 95%CI: (1.44-10.11). The other outcomes (miscarriage, post-partum hemorrhage, pre-term birth, low birthweight, caesarian section, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, small for gestational age, and Apgar score at 1 min) had non-statistically significant findings. We report an increased likelihood of perinatal mortality, and adverse 5-min Apgar scores in association with polluting fuel use. Further research including details on extent of household fuel use exposure is recommended to better quantify the consequences of household fuel use. Ghana Service Ethical Review Committee (GHS-ERC #: 07-9-11).


Eartha Weber, Kwame Adu-Bonsaffoh, Roel Vermeulen, Kerstin Klipstein-Grobusch, Diederick E Grobbee, Joyce L Browne, George S Downward. Household fuel use and adverse pregnancy outcomes in a Ghanaian cohort study. Reproductive health. 2020 Feb 22;17(1):29

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PMID: 32087720

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