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Relationships between demographic variables and lead toxicosis in cattle evaluated at North American veterinary teaching hospitals

Vengai Mavangira BVSc1, Tim J. Evans DVM, PhD, DABVT2,3, J. Armando Villamil DVM, MS4, Allen W. Hahn DVM, PhD, DACVIM5, Munashe Chigerwe BVSc, MPH, PhD, DACVIM6,7, and Jeff W. Tyler DVM, MPVM, PhD, DACVIM8,9,10
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
  • | 3 Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
  • | 4 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
  • | 6 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
  • | 7 Public Health Program, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
  • | 8 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
  • | 9 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
  • | 10 Public Health Program, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211

Abstract

Objective—To determine associations between age, sex, breed, and month and year of admission and the diagnosis of lead toxicosis in cattle.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Sample Population—Records of all cattle evaluated at North American veterinary teaching hospitals during the years 1963 to 2002, which were available through the Veterinary Medical Database.

Procedures—Logistic regression was used to evaluate the associations between postulated risk factors and the occurrence of lead toxicosis in cattle and predict the occurrence of the diagnosis of lead toxicosis in cattle.

Results—413 cases of lead intoxication and 202,363 control cattle were identified and met the inclusion criteria. Cattle < 4 years of age were at increased risk for the diagnosis of lead intoxication relative to cattle ≥ 4 years of age. Cattle ≥ 2 months and < 6 months of age had the greatest risk for lead intoxication (odds ratio, 12.3). Angus cattle were at greater risk for toxicosis (odds ratio, 1.95), compared with other breeds. The risk of lead toxicosis was greater before 1985 (odds ratio, 1.94) than the risk thereafter. The risk of lead toxicosis diagnosis was greatest in the months of May, June, July, and August.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Lead toxicosis in cattle was associated with age < 4 years and the Angus breed. A seasonal pattern existed with peak occurrence in the late spring and summer. The occurrence of lead toxicosis has declined over time.

Abstract

Objective—To determine associations between age, sex, breed, and month and year of admission and the diagnosis of lead toxicosis in cattle.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Sample Population—Records of all cattle evaluated at North American veterinary teaching hospitals during the years 1963 to 2002, which were available through the Veterinary Medical Database.

Procedures—Logistic regression was used to evaluate the associations between postulated risk factors and the occurrence of lead toxicosis in cattle and predict the occurrence of the diagnosis of lead toxicosis in cattle.

Results—413 cases of lead intoxication and 202,363 control cattle were identified and met the inclusion criteria. Cattle < 4 years of age were at increased risk for the diagnosis of lead intoxication relative to cattle ≥ 4 years of age. Cattle ≥ 2 months and < 6 months of age had the greatest risk for lead intoxication (odds ratio, 12.3). Angus cattle were at greater risk for toxicosis (odds ratio, 1.95), compared with other breeds. The risk of lead toxicosis was greater before 1985 (odds ratio, 1.94) than the risk thereafter. The risk of lead toxicosis diagnosis was greatest in the months of May, June, July, and August.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Lead toxicosis in cattle was associated with age < 4 years and the Angus breed. A seasonal pattern existed with peak occurrence in the late spring and summer. The occurrence of lead toxicosis has declined over time.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Mavangira's present address is Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Dr. Chigerwe's present address is Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Supported in part by MBRTI MU/NIH Science Education Partnership Awards (Villamil), University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.

Address correspondence to Dr. Tyler.