Risk of pneumonia in the vicinity of goat farms: a comparative assessment of temporal variation based on longitudinal health data

C Joris Yzermans, Youri P Moleman, Peter Spreeuwenberg, Mark M J Nielen, Michel L A Dückers, Lidwien A M Smit, Christos Baliatsas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Although the association between living in the vicinity of a goat farm and the occurrence of pneumonia is well-documented, it is unclear whether the higher risk of pneumonia in livestock dense areas is season-specific or not. This study explored the temporal variation of the association between exposure to goat farms and the occurrence of pneumonia.

METHODS: A large population-based study was conducted in the Netherlands, based on electronic health records from 49 general practices, collected for a period of six consecutive years (2014-2019). Monthly incidence rates of pneumonia in a livestock dense area were compared with those of a control group (areas with low livestock density) both per individual year and cumulatively for the entire six-year period. Using individual estimates of livestock exposure, it was also examined whether incidence of pneumonia differed per month if someone lived within a certain radius from a goat farm, compared to residents who lived further away.

RESULTS: Pneumonia was consistently more common in the livestock dense area throughout the year, compared to the control area. Analyses on the association between the individual livestock exposure estimates and monthly pneumonia incidence for the whole six-year period, yielded a generally higher risk for pneumonia among people living within 500 m from a goat farm, compared to those living further away. Significant associations were observed for March (IRR 1.68, 95% CI 1.02-2.78), August (IRR 2.67, 95% CI 1.45-4.90) and September (IRR 2.52, 95% CI 1.47-4.32).

CONCLUSIONS: The increased occurrence of pneumonia in the vicinity of goat farms is not season-specific. Instead, pneumonia is more common in livestock dense areas throughout the year, including summer months.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2023


  • Epidemiology
  • Goat farming
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory health
  • Seasonal
  • Temporal


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