Childhood Asthma, Gas Stoves and Junk Science

Full Disclosure – I hate cooking on an electric stove. So there might be some bias in this post.

Here’s a link to the study behind the headlines – Population Attributable Fraction of Gas Stoves and Childhood Asthma in the United States https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/20/1/75#B6-ijerph-20-00075.

Here’s a nice review of the study that most people will never read – No, new study does not link gas stoves with asthma in children https://junkscience.com/2023/01/no-new-study-does-not-link–stoves-with-asthma-in-children/

I read the study behind the headlines:

Indoor gas stove use for cooking is associated with an increased risk of current asthma among children…
The proportion of children (<18 years old) exposed to gas stoves was obtained from the American Housing Survey for the US, and states with available data (n = 9). We found that 12.7% (95% CI = 6.3–19.3%) of current childhood asthma in the US is attributable to gas stove use. The proportion of childhood asthma that could be theoretically prevented if gas stove use was not present (e.g., state-specific PAFs) varied by state… Nonetheless, our results align with a cross-sectional study which found that the use of a gas stove or oven for heat was a main risk factor for doctor-diagnosed asthma in US children under age six [6].

Population Attributable Fraction of Gas Stoves and Childhood Asthma in the United States – link above

Note the authors went from “associated with” to “attributed to gas stove use”. When I got to the “main risk factor” statement I immediately went into WTF mode. So I decided to read some of the authors’ source documents including this one – Contribution of Residential Exposures to Asthma in US Children and Adolescents https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article-abstract/107/6/e98/66289/Contribution-of-Residential-Exposures-to-Asthma-in?redirectedFrom=fulltext.

The list of predictors of doctor diagnosed asthma included history of pet allergy, presence of pet in the household, dust mites, fungus, diagnosis of allergic rhinitis and cockroaches. The main risk factor of gas stove use is not listed.

Talor Gruenwald is listed as the lead author of the study causing an uproar from professional chefs in the US. Gruenwald used to work here https://rmi.org/ and now works here https://www.rewiringamerica.org

Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

George Orwell – 1984

This was an interesting deep dive behind the headlines.

Did I mention I hate cooking on an electric stove?

Drive By Truckers

Up to one-third of crashes of large trucks are attributable to sleepiness, and large truck crashes result in more than 4,000 deaths annually. For each occupant of a truck who is killed, 6 to 7 occupants of other vehicles are killed.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder that is characterized by repetitive episodes of complete or partial upper airway obstruction during sleep.1 OSA is common among adults,2,3 and it is particularly common in commercial operators.48 Untreated OSA leads to increased morbidity and mortality, as well as high costs related to crashes, health care use, absenteeism, and lost productivity.911 A systematic review and meta-analysis commissioned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that drivers with OSA have a crash risk that is between 21% and 489% higher than comparable drivers without OSA.12 A 2013 meta-analysis of more than 25,000 individuals who were enrolled in 12 studies shows that OSA was associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (relative risk: 1.79), fatal and nonfatal stroke (relative risk: 2.15), and death from all causes (relative risk: 1.92).13

Obstructive sleep apnea screening, diagnosis, and treatment in the transportation industry – https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/10.5664/jcsm.9672

Long Term Cannabis Use and Lung Damage

The findings come from the long-running Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has documented cannabis use and measured lung function throughout adult life up to age 45 in more than 1000 individuals born in Dunedin in 1972/73.

University of Otago. “How long-term cannabis use can damage lungs.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/02/220203192317.htm (accessed February 4, 2022).

Inhaling hot smoke into your lungs over a long period of time. What could possibly go wrong?

OSA? Put Your Tongue on a Diet

“Most clinicians, and even experts in the sleep apnea world, have not typically focused on fat in the tongue for treating sleep apnea,” said Richard Schwab, MD, chief of Sleep Medicine. “Now that we know tongue fat is a risk factor and that sleep apnea improves when tongue fat is reduced, we have established a unique therapeutic target that we’ve never had before.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200110101035.htm

From the research article abstract:

Conclusions:

Weight loss reduced volumes of several UA soft tissues in persons with obesity and OSA. Improved AHI with weight loss was mediated by reductions in tongue fat. New treatments that reduce tongue fat should be considered for patients with OSA.

Journal Reference:

  1. Stephen H. Wang, Brendan T Keenan, Andrew Wiemken, Yinyin Zang, Bethany Staley, David B. Sarwer, Drew A. Torigian, Noel Williams, Allan I Pack, Richard J Schwab. Effect of Weight Loss on Upper Airway Anatomy and the Apnea Hypopnea Index: The Importance of Tongue Fat. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2020; DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201903-0692OC

Wait for it.  A plethora of diet and weight loss books for your tongue.

IMPORTANT – Please Read CDC Update

Update: Characteristics of Patients in a National Outbreak of E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use–Associated Lung Injuries — United States, October 2019

As of October 22, 2019, a total of 1,604 cases of EVALI, including 34 deaths, were reported to CDC. Based on data collected as of October 15, 2019, use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products in the 3 months preceding symptom onset was reported by 86% of patients. The median age of EVALI patients who survived was 23 years, and the median age of EVALI patients who died was 45 years.

Vaporizing and inhaling an oily liquid is bad? Go figure…

Vaporizing and inhaling an oily liquid is bad? Go figure…

American Thoracic Society

PUBLIC HEALTH | INFORMATION SERIES

http://www.thoracic.org

Diseases Associated with VAPI

The following patterns of lung injury have been reported with VAPI:

■■Acute eosinophilic pneumonia

■■Lipoid pneumonia

■■Acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome

■■Acute and subacute hypersensitivity pneumonitis

■■Organizing pneumonia

■■Acute eosinophilic pneumonia

■■Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage

■■Respiratory bronchiolitis-associated pneumonitis

Nearly 300 New Cases of Vaping-Related Lung Disease This Week

Teen e-cigarette use doubles since 2017

Apnea-Hypopnea Event Duration Predicts Mortality in Men and Women in the Sleep Heart Health Study

This new study found that, in addition to how many breathing interruptions occur, how long each one lasts is also important. Patients with the shortest apneas were 31 percent more likely to die during the study’s decade of follow-up with participants. This held true for both male and female participants.

Source article.

Study abstract.