Risk of pneumonia among residents living near goat and poultry farms during 2014-2016

Pim M. Post*, Lenny Hogerwerf, Anke Huss, Ronald Petie, Gert Jan Boender, Christos Baliatsas, Erik Lebret, Dick Heederik, Thomas J. Hagenaars, Joris C. IJzermans, Lidwien A.M. Smit

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

In the Netherlands, an association was found between the prevalence of pneumonia and living near goat and poultry farms in 2007-2013. This association then led to regulatory decisions to restrict the building of new goat farms and to reduce emissions of poultry farms. Confirmation of these results, however, is required because the period of previous analyses overlapped a Q-fever epidemic in 2007-2010. To confirm the association, we performed a population-based study during 2014-2016 based on general practitioner (GP) data. Electronic medical records of 90,183 persons were used to analyze the association between pneumonia and the population living in the proximity (within 500-2000 m distance) of goat and poultry farms. Data were analyzed with three types of logistic regression (with and without GP practice as a random intercept and with stratified analyses per GP practice) and a kernel model to discern the influence of different statistical methods on the outcomes. In all regression analyses involving adults, a statistically significant association between pneumonia and residence within 500 meters of goat farms was found (odds ratio [OR] range over all analyses types: 1.33-1.60), with a decreasing OR for increasing distances. In kernel analyses (including all ages), a population-attributable risk between 6.0 and 7.8% was found for a distance of 2000 meters in 2014-2016. The associations were consistent across all years and robust for mutual adjustment for proximity to other animals and for several other sensitivity analyses. However, associations with proximity to poultry farms are not supported by the present study. As the causes of the elevated pneumonia incidence in persons living close to goat farms remain unknown, further research into potential mechanisms is required for adequate prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0223601
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume14
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2019

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    Post, P. M., Hogerwerf, L., Huss, A., Petie, R., Boender, G. J., Baliatsas, C., Lebret, E., Heederik, D., Hagenaars, T. J., IJzermans, J. C., & Smit, L. A. M. (2019). Risk of pneumonia among residents living near goat and poultry farms during 2014-2016. PLoS ONE, 14(10), [e0223601]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223601