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People Living Near Industrial Hog Farms See Higher Risk Of Diseases


Do large-scale hog farms make their neighbors sick? A new study from Duke University researchers show residents who live close to industrial hog farms have a higher risk of potentially deadly diseases. 

Communities in areas with a higher density of hogs see more kidney disease, anemia and sepsis. There is also a greater risk of infant mortality and lower birth weight in these communities. This new study, published in the North Carolina Medical Journal, does not prove that pollutants on hog farms are the cause for these illnesses, but it shows a strong correlation and raises questions about the secondary effects of factory farming.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Dr. Julia Kravchenko and Dr. Kim Lyerly, two of the researchers behind this new work. Dr. Kravchenko is an assistant professor of surgery in the Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Lyerly is a professor of surgery, immunology and pathology at Duke. He is also the director of the Environmental Health Scholars Program at Duke

Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.