The Association Between Proximity to Animal-Feeding Operations and Community Health: A Protocol for Updating a Systematic Review

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Auvermann, Brent
Higgins, Julian
Kirychuk, Shelley
Sargeant, Jan
Von Essen, Susanna
Glanville, Julie
Wood, Hannah
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O'Connor, Annette
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Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine
The mission of VDPAM is to educate current and future food animal veterinarians, population medicine scientists and stakeholders by increasing our understanding of issues that impact the health, productivity and well-being of food and fiber producing animals; developing innovative solutions for animal health and food safety; and providing the highest quality, most comprehensive clinical practice and diagnostic services. Our department is made up of highly trained specialists who span a wide range of veterinary disciplines and species interests. We have faculty of all ranks with expertise in diagnostics, medicine, surgery, pathology, microbiology, epidemiology, public health, and production medicine. Most have earned certification from specialty boards. Dozens of additional scientists and laboratory technicians support the research and service components of our department.
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Livestock and poultry operations that feed large numbers of animals are common. Facility capacity varies, but it is not uncommon for facilities to house 1,000 swine with multiple barns at a single site, feedlots to house 50,000 cattle, and poultry houses to house 250,000 hens. There is primary research that suggests livestock facilities that confine animals indoors for feeding can represent a health hazard for surrounding communities. In this protocol, we describe a review about the association between proximity to animal-feeding operations (AFOs) and the health of individuals in nearby communities. A systematic review of the topic was published by some members of our group in 2010. The purpose of this review is to update that review. The populations of interest are people living in communities near livestock production facilities. Outcomes of interest are any health outcome measured in humans such as respiratory disease, gastrointestinal disease, and mental health. Measures of antibiotic resistance in people from the communities compared to measures of resistance found in animals and the environment on animal-feeding operations will also be summarized. The exposure of interest will be exposure to livestock production using a variety of metrics such as distance from facilities, endotoxin levels, and measures of odor. Electronic searches will be conducted using MEDLINE and MEDLINE In-Process (via OvidSP), CAB Abstracts (via Web of Knowledge), and Science Citation Index (via Web of Knowledge). No language or date restriction will be applied. We will access the risk of bias using a pilot version of a tool developed by the Methods Groups of the Cochrane Collaboration for non-randomized interventions. We propose to conduct a meta-analysis for each health metric (e.g., combining all respiratory disease outcomes, combining all gastrointestinal outcomes). A planned subgroup analysis will be based on the domains of the risk of bias. This systematic review will provide synthesis of current evidence reporting the association between living near an animal-feeding operation and human health.


This article is from Systematic Reviews 3 (2014): 99. Posted with permission.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2014