"Research released Wednesday from the University of Pennsylvania found that as more wells were drilled in Northeastern Pennsylvania, hospital admission rates for cardiovascular events rose in the same areas.

The Penn study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, analyzed hospital discharge data for 93,000 inpatients, by zip code, between 2007 and 2011 in three counties in Pennsylvania's northeastern corner. Bradford and Susquehanna each had large increases over that time in wells that use [fracking]. Neighboring Wayne County had no gas development.

While hospital admission rates decreased slightly or remained constant overall, as they have nationwide, hospitalizations for cardiology were about 27 percent higher over five years among residents who lived in zip codes with more wells and more wells per square kilometer than among those whose zip codes had the least.

Neurology admissions also increased significantly for zips with more wells.

...

The studies only show links, not cause and effect."

source:

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20150116_Pa__studies_link_frack...

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Another reason not to take this report seriously, as if we really needed another one.

From page nine of the report

"... the average overall inpatient prevalence rates for 2007–2011 are, respectively, 15.18, 15.30, 14.86, 14.00, 14.25. This indicates that on average, zip code overall inpatient prevalence rates were relatively stable or possibly declining from 2007 to 2011, which mirrors national trends.”

The last part is the most important, "... which mirrors national trends."

This means that this is not peculiar to areas with shale development. That statement alone blows away the intent of the report and this post.

This post is just more anti shale, fractivist fear mongering, meant to instill fear in the uniformed.

Barry D;  good work dissecting this report, its shortcomings, and the misleading selective use of data by too many people.  Thanks for putting in the time.

So sad.

Barry D quoted from the report “This indicates that on average, zip code overall inpatient prevalence rates were relatively stable or possibly declining from 2007 to 2011, which mirrors national trends” and concluded “That statement alone blows away the intent of the report…”.

But “overall” means all categories: cardiology, dermatology, orthopedics… And later in the report, the authors conclude “Our data suggests that some but not all medical categories were associated with increases in number of wells, along with increases in well density. Specifically, cardiology inpatient prevalence rates were significantly associated with number of wells and well density”.

And “if a zip code went from having no wells to having greater than 0.79 wells/km2, we would expect dermatology inpatient prevalence rates to increase by 45% for that zip code.”

So no, the statement Barry quoted did not blow away the intent of the report.

As far as I can tell, the intent of the report was to investigate if there were connections between hospitalization rates for various conditions, and gas well density. And it appears to me that the authors succeeded at that. They found many categories to be uncorrelated, but cardiology to be significantly correlated. Future research will reveal more patterns.

I hope transient workers are included in future studies. Does anybody know a gas industry worker with health issues? Are the companies taking care of them?

“Our data suggests that some but not all medical categories were associated with increases in number of wells, along with increases in well density. Specifically, cardiology inpatient prevalence rates were significantly associated with number of wells and well density”.

And “if a zip code went from having no wells to having greater than 0.79 wells/km2, we would expect dermatology inpatient prevalence rates to increase by 45% for that zip code.”

First sentence says cardiology, the next says dermatology.   A little different, no?

Right, they found the strongest evidence for cardiology patients, but their abstract says "Furthermore, evidence also supported an association between well density and inpatient prevalence rates for the medical categories of dermatology, neurology, oncology, and urology. "

Paul,

The title of your post is

"Cardiovascular admissions higher in fracking areas, that just isn't true.

The report itself states that inpatient admissions are no higher than national trends.

Typical fear mongering, use a sensationalistic title, then cherry pick info all in an effort to instill fear.

The more you twist the words of the report the more you make my point.

Tsk, Tsk.

Barry D: if you have a problem with the conclusions of the study authors, namely "Cardiology inpatient prevalence rates were significantly associated with number of wells per zip code (p<0.00096) and wells per km2 (p<0.00096) while neurology inpatient prevalence rates were significantly associated with wells per km2 (p<0.00096)." -- this is from the abstract of their paper at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.01... -- then I suggest you take it up with the paper authors, not me. You could email them.

I think the Philadelphia Inquirer reporter did a good job when he translated the more technical lingo of the paper into the more readable summary "hospitalizations for cardiology were about 27 percent higher over five years among residents who lived in zip codes with more wells".

The authors wrote "We examined over 95,000 inpatient records, and thus our study, to our knowledge, represents the most comprehensive one to date to address the health impact of [unconventional gas and oil drilling]". I hope some researchers do a broader study covering the entire Marcellus region.

Paul,

The authors of this scam didn't post this nonsense, you did.

Your continued manipulation of words and terms reminds me of the Bill Clinton statement "...it depends on what the meaning of is , is'

And yes the authors do make the claims you state. But later equivocate with all manner of qualifiers.

Bottom line is as I said before. This is a fear mongering piece and as an educated person you should be ashamed to have posted it.

you would think the sierra club would have more talent than this

Tracking Mean Twitter posting determines heart disease better then smoking, diabetes or O&G well placement

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/01/21/twe...

Here's my condensed abstract of a related public health study:

We did a survey of 500 people in 180 randomly selected houses with ground-fed water wells in Washington County, PA. Gas well proximity for each household was compared with reported medical symptoms.

The number of reported health symptoms per person was higher among residents living < 1 km compared with > 2 km from the nearest gas well. In a model that adjusted for age, sex, household education, smoking, awareness of environmental risk, work type, and animals in house, reported skin conditions were more common in households close to gas wells compared to those far from wells. Upper respiratory symptoms were also more frequently reported in persons living close to wells.

This is the largest study to date of general health status of people living near natural gas wells, but we are careful not to claim outright that the fracking itself is causing the health problems. Rather, our results show there are higher rates of illness in households closer to gas wells. To say that drilling or fracking causes illness would require more research. Future studies should attempt to medically confirm particular diagnoses and further assess and control for the effect of awareness on reported health status.

the study:

Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania

Rabinowitz, et al, University of Washington School of Public Health

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1307732/

" Eligible households were offered a small cash stipend for participation."

That always elicits quality responses from a general population, huh?  

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