Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Links between livestock farms and adult blood cancer

August 3, 2011

Links between livestock farms and adult blood cancer

New research findings into farmers’ health and cancer risks shows growing up on a livestock farm seems to be linked to an increased risk of developing blood cancers as an adult.

The findings were published by the UK-based Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal.

Centre for Public Health researcher Dr Andrea ‘t Mannetje and her team found the risk of developing a blood cancer was three times as high for those who had grown up on a poultry farm.

The authors based their findings on an analysis of more than 114,000 death certification records from 1998 to 2003 for those aged between 35 and 85 and resident in New Zealand.

The study is part of a programme grant made by the Health Research Council to the Centre for research into different aspects of occupational health.

The findings support previous studies that suggest that farmers are at increased risk of blood cancers; the possible explanations for which have focused on exposure to pesticides or infections as a result of contact with farm animals. However, most of the previous research has focused on exposure in adulthood, with little information on potential early life factors.

During the study period, just over 3000 deaths were attributed to blood cancers and growing up on a livestock farm was associated with a higher risk of developing such a cancer.
This association was not apparent for those who had grown up on arable/crop farm, although working on one of these farms as an adult was associated with a higher risk.

The analysis showed that the overall risk of developing a blood cancer, such as leukaemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was 22 per cent higher for those growing up on livestock farm compared with those who had not grown up in this environment.

Growing up on an arable/crop farm conferred an almost 20 per cent lower risk of developing a blood cancer, but crop farming as an adult was associated with an almost 50 per cent increased risk.

Dr ‘t Mannetje says further studies would be needed before a definitive cause and effect can be established, but that the study suggested that farming exposures in adulthood and childhood played independent roles in the development of haematological cancers. The team wants to test its hypothesis that biological exposures in childhood may alter the immune system’s response, so increasing the risk of blood cancer in later life.

Originally from The Netherlands, Dr ‘t Mannetje joined Massey University in 2003 from the International Agency for Research Cancer in France. She completed her PhD in Occupational Epidemiology at Utrecht University.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland