Within a radius of 500 metres
The risk of pneumonia is greater, especially if the livestock are located within a radius of 500 meters from the house. In addition, pneumonia appears to be more common year-round in the eastern part of North Brabant and northern Limburg than in areas with fewer livestock farms, according to Nivel’s conclusion based on a third measurement, update on the years 2017-2019, Within the RIVM Livestock and Local People’s Health Program (VGO Part III).
The association between the variables “proximity to livestock” and “incidence of pneumonia” appears to be consistent in the counties studied during the years 2009-2019; There are between 26 and 60% more pneumonia per year than in areas less affluent with livestock. Research conducted during 2014-2017 in three other counties confirms the relationship between the two.
The relationship mainly between “pneumonia” and “goat farms” in the region
Within the research area of North-East Brabant and North Limburg, an area with many cattle farms, it mainly concerns the proximity of goat farms. Sometimes, and therefore less uniformly, it is near poultry farms.
The relationship is particularly evident in a radius of 500 metres
For the most recent period 2017-2019, the risk of pneumonia in the surveyed area is 37% higher than in areas – elsewhere in the country – where there are fewer livestock farms. This greater opportunity especially applies to living within a 500-meter radius of a goat farm. The relationship between living within a radius of 1000 or 2000 meters and the occurrence of pneumonia, which was also studied, could not be confirmed. These results are in line with the results of previous measurements.
From one of the many analyzes in this update, the result we found for “living within 500m of goat farms” was also applied to “poultry farms”; Pneumonia was more common there.
Preventing non-seasonal pneumonia
Pneumonia is more common in the study area year-round. The difference between the individual months in 2014-2019 is small. The frequency of pneumonia in the study area could not be related to the lambing season in goat farms (February-May) or the influenza season in the Netherlands (November-April). It was previously assumed that this relationship could exist.
For the 2017-2019 update, healthcare data pseudonyms from general practices were used. This relates to 27 general practices in research that provided total care data for about 110,000 patients, and 19 general practices elsewhere in the Netherlands that recorded care data for about 55,000 patients. All practices are in the countryside. The presence of livestock farms in the study area was determined by the agricultural farm status file, 2018.