Cardiovascular Effects of Indoor Air Pollution from Solid Fuel: Relevance to Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Ana Olga MocumbiEmail author
  • Simon Stewart
  • Sam Patel
  • Wael K. Al-Delaimy
Air Pollution and Health (S Adar and B Hoffmann, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Air Pollution and Health


Purpose of Review

This research aims to summarize evidence on the cardiovascular effects of indoor air pollution (IAP) from solid fuel and identify areas for research and policy for low- and middle-income countries.

Recent Findings

IAP affects people from low socioeconomic status in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, who depend upon biomass as a fuel for cooking, heating, and lighting. In these settings, IAP disproportionately affects women, children, the elderly, and people with cardiopulmonary disease. The health effects of IAP include acute respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumoconiosis, cataract and blindness, pulmonary tuberculosis, adverse effects to pregnancy, cancer, and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. New methods for assessing individual IAP exposure, exposing pathways of IAP-related cardiovascular disease, and performing qualitative research focusing on population preferences regarding strategies to reduce IAP exposure have been the most important developments in tackling the burden of IAP. Unfortunately, major disparities exist regarding research into the cardiovascular effects of IAP, with only few studies coming from sub-Saharan Africa, despite this region having the highest proportion of households using solid fuels.


Premature cardiovascular deaths and disability can be averted in low-middle income countries by addressing biomass fuel usage by the most disadvantaged settings. While research is needed to uncover the mechanisms involved in cardiovascular outcomes linked to IAP, immediate action is needed to educate the most affected populations on IAP health hazards and to reduce their exposure to this environmental risk through promoting improved housing and better ventilation, as well as increasing access to affordable clean cooking energy.


Indoor air pollution Biomass fuel Cardiovascular diseases 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Olga Mocumbi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Simon Stewart
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sam Patel
    • 1
    • 4
  • Wael K. Al-Delaimy
    • 5
  1. 1.Universidade Eduardo MondlaneMaputoMozambique
  2. 2.Instituto Nacional de SaúdeMaputoMozambique
  3. 3.Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in AfricaCape TownSouth Africa
  4. 4.Hospital Central de MaputoMaputoMozambique
  5. 5.University of California San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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