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Team studies how diseases affect cows' quality of life

Veterinarian Craig McConnel and colleagues at Washington State University are applying the concept of disability-adjusted life years to dairy cows, potentially giving veterinarians and livestock producers a way to judge the effectiveness and consequences of veterinary health management decisions. DALY measures years lost due to poor health, disability or premature death and is used by epidemiologists to quantify the effects of disease and injury on human life, and Dr. McConnel says the concept "can help integrate the impacts of disease on productivity, longevity, well-being and economic opportunity costs."

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