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Researchers from the University of Cape Coast have revealed that using unclean cooking fuel increases your risk of hypertension

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Sub-Saharan Africa faces a pressing health issue as a new study sheds light on a concerning link between unclean cooking fuel and the risk of hypertension among women. This research, based on a comprehensive analysis of data from 97,942 individuals across 10 countries in the region, underscores the urgent need for action to improve cooking fuel sources and promote cleaner alternatives.

Unclean cooking fuels (i.e., kerosine, coal lignite, charcoal, wood, straw/shrubs/grass, agricultural crops, animal dung), commonly used by nearly one-third of the population in the region (approximately 2.4 billion people), have long been associated with indoor air pollution and other health hazards. However, this study, which focuses on the relationship between cooking fuel and hypertension risk, adds a new dimension to the conversation.
Key Findings:

The study found that women using unclean cooking fuel are 1.21 times more likely to be hypertensive compared to those who use clean cooking fuel. This crucial finding, after adjusting for various factors, highlights a specific vulnerability among women in the region.
Implications and Recommendations:

The implications of these findings are clear: efforts to reduce reliance on unclean cooking fuel in households and at the population level must be intensified across SSA countries. Promoting the adoption of clean cooking technologies and fuels, along with the implementation of supportive policies for transitioning away from unclean fuels, is crucial.

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The study suggests targeted interventions to mitigate hypertension risk in Sub-Saharan Africa. These interventions should particularly focus on women using unclean cooking fuel, older women, individuals from wealthier households, and those with higher education levels.

This research highlights the intersection of health and environmental concerns, urging governments, NGOs, and communities to collaborate on solutions. By addressing the issue of unclean cooking fuel, we can take a significant step toward improving both the health and quality of life for millions of people across the region.

Ayebeng, C., Okyere, J. & Dickson, KS. (2023). Influence of type of cooking fuel on risk of hypertension among reproductive-age women in sub-Saharan Africa: insights from nationally representative cross-sectional surveys.International Health, ihad060

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