Growing Up Near Livestock Leads to Lymphoma?


According to a new study, children who grow up on livestock farms are generally at a higher risk of developing a blood cancer like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia or multiple myeloma late in life that those who do not.

In order to come to their tentative conclusions, the researchers involved put together information from 114,000 total death certificates from people between the ages of 35 and 85 who died between 1998 and 2003 in New Zealand. The analysis done noted that over a five-year span, over 3,000 deaths could be attributed to blood cancers. Furthermore, growing up on a livestock farm was one of the characteristics that were linked to the deceased.

When all was said and done, it was determined that the risk of developing blood cancer was 22 percent higher in those people who grew up on livestock farms than those who did not. Poultry farms, in particular, carried the greatest risk. Folks who grew up on poultry farms were three times more likely to develop a blood cancer than those who did not.

The researchers involved made it clear that they still needed to conduct more studies before they could definitively make any broad statements on the topic. At this point, it’s all observational.

This study was published in the July 28 online edition of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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