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Advisory Committee Chair

Nalini Sathiakumar

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) School of Public Health

Abstract

India has the second highest number of people with diabetes. The high prevalence of diabetes in India cannot be explained on the basis of established risk factors like obesity. The role of air pollution in diabetes has recently received attention. Studies have indicated the possibility that air pollution generated by traffic might be associated with increased risk of diabetes. Published literature lacks studies that assess the relationship between indoor air pollution and diabetes, although indoor air pollution can lead to higher levels of pollutants in house compared to traffic pollution. The current study determined the relationship between indoor air pollution and the prevalence of diabetes in the adult women sampled in the third National Family Health Survey of India in the year 2005-06. The sample consisted of 104,073 women in the 18-49 years age group representing the national population. The specific aims were evaluation of the risk factors associated with diabetes among Indian women and evaluation of the relationship between household air pollution and diabetes among Indian women. For the purpose of this study, self-reported presence or absence of diabetes was the primary outcome variable of interest. Exposure to IAP was determined by questionnaire data on type of fuel used for cooking and the location of cooking. Results for the overall study sample showed solid fuel use was positively associated with higher prevalence of diabetes after adjusting for all confounders though the result was not statistically significant (OR 1.15; 95% CI 0.91 - 1.44). For the subgroup of women > 45 years of age, solid fuel use was significantly associated with diabetes (OR=1.59; 95% CI 1.08- 2.34). The study results indicated that in the overall sample the lack of significant association could be due to large number of undiagnosed diabetes cases that could have led to misclassification. The significant association in the older age group of women could be due to cumulative long term exposure to indoor air pollutants. However, due to the limitations of the cross-sectional nature of the current study further research and prospective studies are needed to determine the causal role of indoor air pollution in diabetes.

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