Poultry and livestock exposure and cancer risk among farmers in the agricultural health study
- First Online:
- 353 Downloads
The purpose of this study is to evaluate cancer risk associated with raising animals as commodities, which is associated with a variety of exposures, such as infectious agents and endotoxins.
Information was available for 49,884 male farmers in the Agricultural Health Study, who reported livestock and poultry production at enrollment (1993–1997). Cancer incidence data were obtained through annual linkage to state registries. Using Poisson regression analyses, we evaluated whether the number and type of animals raised on the farm impacted cancer risk.
Overall, 31,848 (63.8%) male farmers reported raising any animals. Lung cancer risk decreased with increasing number of livestock on the farm (p trend = 0.04) and with raising poultry (Relative Risk (RR) = 0.6; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.4–0.97). Raising poultry was associated with an increased risk of colon cancer (RR = 1.4; 95% CI: 0.99–2.0) with further increased with larger flocks (p trend = 0.02). Risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was also elevated in those who raised poultry (RR = 1.6; 95% CI: 1.0–2.4), but there was no evidence of increased risk with larger flocks (p trend = 0.5). Raising sheep was associated with a significantly increased risk of multiple myeloma (RR = 4.9; 95% CI: 2.4–12.0). Performing veterinary services increased the risk of Hodgkin lymphoma (RR = 12.2; 95% CI: 1.6–96.3).
We observed an inverse association between raising poultry and livestock and lung cancer risk and some evidence of increased risk of specific lymphohematopoietic malignancies with specific types of animals and performing veterinary services. Further research into associations between raising animals and cancer risk should focus on identification of etiologic agents.
KeywordsLivestock Poultry Cancer Cohort study Agriculture
- 2.Blair A, Beane Freeman L (2009) Epidemiologic studies of cancer in agricultural populations: observations and future directions. J Agromed 14:125–131Google Scholar
- 3.Koutros S et al (2010) An update of cancer incidence in the Agricultural Health Study. J Occup Environ Med 52:1098–1105Google Scholar
- 5.Diefenbach H et al (2007) Airborne biological hazards in different pig fattening systems. Int J Immunopath Pharmacol 20:45–49Google Scholar
- 28.McLean D, Pearce N (2004) Cancer among meat industry workers. Scand J Work Environ Health 30:425–437Google Scholar
- 31.Mueller N, Grufferman S (2006) Hogkin lymphoma. In: Schottenfeld D, Fraumeni JF (eds) Cancer epidemiology and prevention. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 872–897Google Scholar
- 32.Lee WJ, Sander DP et al (2007) Pesticide use and colorectal cancer risk in the Agricultural Health Study. Int J Cancer 121:339–346Google Scholar