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A Systematic Review of the Epidemiologic Literature Assessing Health Outcomes in Populations Living near Oil and Natural Gas Operations: Study Quality and Future Recommendations

1
Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO 80246, USA
2
Bureau of Epidemiology, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Harrisburg, PA 17120, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122123
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 15 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shale Gas and Fracking: Impacts on Health and the Environment)
A systematic method was used to review the existing epidemiologic literature and determine the state of the scientific evidence for potential adverse health outcomes in populations living near oil and natural gas (ONG) operations in the United States. The review utilized adapted systematic review frameworks from the medical and environmental health fields, such as Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE), the Navigation Guide, and guidance from the National Toxicology Program’s Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT). The review included 20 epidemiologic studies, with 32 different health outcomes. Studies of populations living near ONG operations provide limited evidence (modest scientific findings that support the outcome, but with significant limitations) of harmful health effects including asthma exacerbations and various self-reported symptoms. Study quality has improved over time and the highest rated studies within this assessment have primarily focused on birth outcomes. Additional high-quality studies are needed to confirm or dispute these correlations. View Full-Text
Keywords: oil and natural gas; hydraulic fracturing; fracking; unconventional oil and gas; environmental health; epidemiology; systematic literature review oil and natural gas; hydraulic fracturing; fracking; unconventional oil and gas; environmental health; epidemiology; systematic literature review
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Bamber, A.M.; Hasanali, S.H.; Nair, A.S.; Watkins, S.M.; Vigil, D.I.; Van Dyke, M.; McMullin, T.S.; Richardson, K. A Systematic Review of the Epidemiologic Literature Assessing Health Outcomes in Populations Living near Oil and Natural Gas Operations: Study Quality and Future Recommendations. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2123.

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