Newest research assaults hog farms and leaves extra questions than solutions


A research printed by researchers from the College of North Carolina has left us shaking our heads as soon as once more. This one claims that the nearer you reside to a hog farm, the extra probably you might be to go to a hospital emergency division for a urinary tract an infection.

The one drawback: There’s nothing that really proves hog farms trigger urinary tract infections.

Anybody who has ever taken a statistics class has heard the phrase “correlation doesn’t indicate causation.” The idea: simply because two issues are true doesn’t imply they’re associated.

Take, as an example, the correlation between (a) per capita cheese consumption and (b) the quantity of people that died by turning into tangled of their bedsheets. Because the chart reveals, the quantity of cheese we eat straight correlates with the variety of folks die tangled of their bedsheets — though everyone knows that one doesn’t trigger the opposite.

This isn’t the primary time we’ve encountered severe flaws with research about our business, together with deceptive claims that our farms are disproportionately situated in minority communities or that hog farms are liable for quite a lot of well being considerations, together with larger charges of bronchial asthma and better mortality charges.

Dr. Keith Ramsey, the medical director of infectious illness management at Pitt County Memorial Hospital and former chairman of the Pitt County Board of Well being, has performed quite a few medical and analysis research involving residents throughout jap North Carolina. He studied well being outcomes and particularly checked out potential affiliation with bacterial resistance related to swine operations.

His conclusion: “I’ve noticed no indication that residing close to a hog farm causes any elevated threat of an infection by antibiotic-resistant or some other micro organism… The true well being threats needing consideration in jap North Carolina are food plan and life-style… not hog farms.”

“… The true well being threats needing consideration in jap North Carolina are food plan and life-style… not hog farms.” Dr. Keith Ramsey, medical director of infectious illness management, Pitt County Memorial Hospital

The issue with this newest research is that it doesn’t account for different components that may trigger urinary tract infections. It doesn’t clarify why its information reveals that American Indians are greater than 90% extra more likely to have UTIs, why girls over 65 are 139% extra more likely to have UTIs, or why these with out non-public medical health insurance are 173% extra more likely to have UTIs. Do hog farms indiscriminately goal these populations?

The research additionally doesn’t study why so many communities throughout the state with none hog farms have excessive charges of urinary tract infections. And it doesn’t clarify why communities with a excessive density of hog farms — and a low density of poultry farms — have a decrease focus of UTIs.

Certainly, this newest research leaves many unanswered questions, together with why researchers proceed to assault our state’s hog farms.

Malcolm Kendrick, the creator of “Doctoring Knowledge,” shares one potential reply: “There are numerous folks with an agenda on the market, and they’re going to ruthlessly torture statistics till they get the reply they need out of them.”


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