Pneumonia risk down as chimneys go up

More than 530 young families were randomly assigned to receive either a wood stove “intervention” or to act as a control, and cases of infant pneumonia were documented over about 18 months.

“We recorded significant reductions in the intervention group for three severe outcomes – fieldworker-assessed, physician-diagnosed, and RSV negative pneumonia,” the authors said.

Open fires or “dirty stoves” were the primary source of cooking and heating for 43% of the world’s population, affecting some three billion people, researchers said.

Lancet 2011; 378: 1717-26