Medical research carried out in Bangladesh has linked the high prevalence of COPD among women of rural Bangladesh to wide use of biomass for cooking in poorly ventilated kitchens.

The study was carried out among 250 women over 40 years of age living in five sub-districts in Chittagong, Bangladesh. One in five women (20.4%) in the study had COPD.

Most of the households in the study area used biomass, which included wood, cow dung and charcoal, for cooking while some used natural gas or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). The prevalence of COPD among women using biomass was significantly higher (16.4%) than women using LPG (4%).