Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Environmental health risks of livestock farming: More exacerbations in lung patients

Date:
September 27, 2011
Source:
European Lung Foundation
Summary:
Emissions from livestock farms cause asthma and COPD patients living nearby to experience more exacerbations, according to new research. Also, chances of contracting Q fever from nearby sheep and goat farms increased with the number of animals rather than with the number of farms, the research found, hinting at higher health risks from "mega farms."

Emissions from livestock farms cause asthma and COPD patients living nearby to experience more exacerbations, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Amsterdam.

Related Articles


Also, chances of contracting Q fever from nearby sheep and goat farms increased with the number of animals rather than with the number of farms, the research found, hinting at higher health risks from 'mega farms'.

The researchers, from Utrecht University, measured increased levels of particulate matter containing microbes and microbial toxins near livestock farms. They studied health effects by screening medical records from 50 general practitioners servicing 200,000 patients in regions with high and low densities of livestock farms.

In regions with many livestock farms, doctors reported less asthma, COPD, upper respiratory tract infections and hay fever, a result that mimics some earlier studies that saw less allergies in children who grown up on farms. In this study, the medical records did not specify whether symptoms were allergy- related, so the researchers do not know whether the effect is indeed limited to allergies.

The research however also showed that in areas with many livestock farms, people who suffer from asthma or COPD developed twice as much pneumonia and upper respiratory tract infections than people in regions with little livestock activity. The overall prevalence of pneumonia also was higher in high-density areas.

The study period included an unusually severe outbreak of Q fever, an infectious disease of cattle, sheep or goats, which can cause flu-like symptoms and pneumonia in humans. Between 2007 and 2010, close to 4,000 people in the Netherlands became ill; at least ten of them died.

The researchers found that the risk of contracting Q fever increased with the proximity of sheep farms or goat farms. An even stronger correlation was found between Q fever risk and the number of animals kept in the area, suggesting that mega farms could bring more environmental health risks than smaller farms.

The study contributes to on-going debates about intensive animal farming in densely populated regions in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands.

Lead researcher Dr Lidwien Smit said: "Our study is one of the first to show that living close to farms leads to exacerbation of symptoms for people with lung conditions and that during a Q fever outbreak, the risk of contracting Q fever increased with the number of livestock animals kept close by."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Lung Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Lung Foundation. "Environmental health risks of livestock farming: More exacerbations in lung patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927073157.htm>.
European Lung Foundation. (2011, September 27). Environmental health risks of livestock farming: More exacerbations in lung patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927073157.htm
European Lung Foundation. "Environmental health risks of livestock farming: More exacerbations in lung patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927073157.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) — Slowed-down footage of the leaps of praying mantises show the insect&apos;s extraordinary precision, say researchers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Buzz60 (Mar. 5, 2015) — A photographer got the shot of a lifetime, or rather an octopus did, when it grabbed the camera and turned it around to take an amazing picture of the photographer. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

AP (Mar. 5, 2015) — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending its iconic elephant acts. The circus&apos; parent company, Feld Entertainment, told the AP exclusively that the acts will be phased out by 2018 over growing public concern about the animals. (March 5) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) — Once nearly extinct, grey whales now migrate in their thousands to Mexico&apos;s Vizcaino reserve in Baja California, in search of warmer waters to mate and give birth. Tourists flock to the reserve to see the whales, measuring up to 49 feet long. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins