Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Biomass Cooking and Severe Infant Pneumonia

Eric D. McCollum, John P. McCracken, Miles A. Kirby, Laura M. Grajeda, Shakir Hossen, Lawrence H. Moulton, Suzanne M. Simkovich, Dina Goodman-Palmer, Ghislaine Rosa, Alexie Mukeshimana, Kalpana Balakrishnan, Gurusamy Thangavel, Sarada S. Garg, Adly Castañaza, Lisa M. Thompson, Anaite Diaz-Artiga, Aris T. Papageorghiou, Victor G. Davila-Roman, Lindsay J. Underhill, Stella M. HartingerKendra N. Williams, Laura Nicolaou, Howard H. Chang, Amy E. Lovvorn, Joshua P. Rosenthal, Ajay Pillarisetti, Wenlu Ye, Luke P. Naeher, Michael A. Johnson, Lance A. Waller, Shirin Jabbarzadeh, Jiantong Wang, Yunyun Chen, Kyle Steenland, Thomas F. Clasen, Jennifer L. Peel, William Checkley

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2 Scopus citations


Background Exposure to household air pollution is a risk factor for severe pneumonia. The effect of replacing biomass cookstoves with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cookstoves on the incidence of severe infant pneumonia is uncertain. Methods We conducted a randomized, controlled trial involving pregnant women 18 to 34 years of age and between 9 to less than 20 weeks' gestation in India, Guatemala, Peru, and Rwanda from May 2018 through September 2021. The women were assigned to cook with unvented LPG stoves and fuel (intervention group) or to continue cooking with biomass fuel (control group). In each trial group, we monitored adherence to the use of the assigned cookstove and measured 24-hour personal exposure to fine particulate matter (particles with an aerodynamic diameter of ≤2.5 μm [PM2.5]) in the women and their offspring. The trial had four primary outcomes; the primary outcome for which data are presented in the current report was severe pneumonia in the first year of life, as identified through facility surveillance or on verbal autopsy. Results Among 3200 pregnant women who had undergone randomization, 3195 remained eligible and gave birth to 3061 infants (1536 in the intervention group and 1525 in the control group). High uptake of the intervention led to a reduction in personal exposure to PM2.5 among the children, with a median exposure of 24.2 μg per cubic meter (interquartile range, 17.8 to 36.4) in the intervention group and 66.0 μg per cubic meter (interquartile range, 35.2 to 132.0) in the control group. A total of 175 episodes of severe pneumonia were identified during the first year of life, with an incidence of 5.67 cases per 100 child-years (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.55 to 7.07) in the intervention group and 6.06 cases per 100 child-years (95% CI, 4.81 to 7.62) in the control group (incidence rate ratio, 0.96; 98.75% CI, 0.64 to 1.44; P=0.81). No severe adverse events were reported to be associated with the intervention, as determined by the trial investigators. Conclusions The incidence of severe pneumonia among infants did not differ significantly between those whose mothers were assigned to cook with LPG stoves and fuel and those whose mothers were assigned to continue cooking with biomass stoves. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; HAPIN number, NCT02944682.)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-43
Number of pages12
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2024


  • Global Health
  • Infectious Disease
  • Infectious Disease General
  • Pediatrics
  • Pediatrics General
  • Pulmonary/Critical Care
  • Pulmonary/Critical Care General


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