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Free Content The seventh nationwide tuberculosis prevalence survey in Korea, 1995

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Setting: Nationwide random sample survey for tuberculosis prevalence in Korea in 1995.

Objective: To investigate the prevalence of tuberculosis infection, morbidity and drug resistance, and BCG coverage, and to compare the findings with those of the previous six surveys.

Design: The following investigations were performed: tuberculin test, BCG scar screening, chest miniature radiography (70 × 70 mm) for those aged over five years, sputum direct smear, culture and drug susceptibility test, and a questionnaire to obtain history of antituberculosis chemotherapy and symptoms.

Results: The coverages of the 1995 survey were as follows: tuberculin 87.0%, radiology 88.4%, bacteriology 98.3%. The observed tuberculin positivity (≥10 mm in diameter) of subjects aged under 30 was 15.5%. The prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis per 100000 has decreased in the last 30 years: direct smear positive from 686 to 93, smear and/or culture positive from 940 to 219, active tuberculosis from 5065 to 1032. Rates of drug resistance have also fallen: of those with no previous chemotherapy from 26.2% to 5.8%, of those with history of chemotherapy from 55.2% to 25.0%, and in total from 38.0% to 9.9%. BCG scar prevalence of infants (aged under one year) was 87.7%, and of those under 30 it was 91.8% in 1995.

Conclusion: Tuberculosis prevalences and the drug resistance rates have decreased significantly.
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Keywords: Korea; epidemiology; prevalence survey; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Korean National Tuberculosis Association, Seoul, Korea

Publication date: 1998-01-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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