Risk of diarrhea with adult residents of municipalities with significant livestock production activities

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Abstract

Background

The intensification of livestock production has led to situations where the amount of manure that is produced exceeds the amounts needed in some areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the intensity of livestock activities and manure products, particularly in swine farms, and the prevalence of diarrhea in adults.

Methods

A survey was carried out on 8702 adults living in 161 municipalities in Quebec areas with intensive farming activities. Data were collected by a telephonic interview on diarrheal symptoms that occurred during the previous week of the interview, on water consumption and on selected risk factors. Statistical analysis was performed using a ‘generalized estimating equations’ model.

Results

Prevalence of diarrhea was found to be highest in adults aged between 25 and 34 years. No association was found between swine density or liquid manure application and diarrheal prevalence. There was also no association between cattle or total animal density and diarrheal prevalence. In the areas studied, there was no increase in risk associated with the consumption of tap water with suboptimal treatment and susceptible to microbiologic contamination.

Conclusion

Significant livestock production and excess of manure were not associated with the risk of diarrhea in adults.

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