Neurologic symptoms associated with cattle farming in the agricultural health study

Leora Vegosen, Meghan F. Davis, Ellen Silbergeld, Patrick N. Breysse, Jacqueline Agnew, Gregory Gray, Laura Beane Freeman, Freya Kamel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: Infection with Campylobacter jejuni, a bacterium carried by poultry and livestock, is the most frequently identified antecedent to the autoimmune neurologic condition Guillain-Barré Syndrome. We used Agricultural Health Study data to assess whether cattle farming was associated with prevalence of neurologic symptoms. METHODS:: Prevalence of self-reported symptoms in cattle farmers (n = 8878) was compared with farmers who did not work with animals (n = 7462), using multivariate regression. RESULTS:: Prevalence of numbness and weakness were increased for beef and dairy farmers compared with the reference group (P < 0.0001). Of cattle farmers, 48% did not report raising other animal species, and prevalence of numbness and weakness were also increased in this subgroup compared with the reference group (P < 0.02). CONCLUSIONS:: Occupational exposure to cattle was associated with increased prevalence of self-reported symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1253-1258
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume54
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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