: There is evidence that household air pollution is associated with poor health in China, and that this form of air pollution may even be more of a health concern in China than the much-publicized outdoor air pollution. However, there is little empirical evidence on the relationship between household air pollution and health in China based on nationally representative and longitudinal data. This study examines the association between the type of domestic cooking fuel and the health of women aged ≥16 in rural China. Methods
: Using longitudinal and biomarker data from the China Family Panel Studies (n
= 12,901) and the China Health and Nutrition Survey (n
= 15,539), we investigate the impact of three major domestic cooking fuels (wood/straw, coal, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)) on health status using both cross-sectional and panel approaches. Results
: Compared to women whose households cook with dirty fuels like wood/straw, women whose households cook with cleaner fuels like LPG have a significantly lower probability of chronic or acute diseases and are more likely to report better health. Cooking with domestic coal instead of wood or straw is also associated with elevated levels of having certain risks (such as systolic blood pressure) related to cardiovascular diseases. Conclusions
: Our study provides evidence that using cleaner fuels like LPG is associated with better health among women in rural China, suggesting that the shift from dirty fuels to cleaner choices may be associated with improved health outcomes.
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