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Free Content The impact of immigration on the elimination of tuberculosis in The Netherlands: a model based approach

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OBJECTIVE: To determine whether elimination of tuberculosis in the Dutch population can be achieved by the year 2030, taking into account the impact of immigration.

METHODS: The incidence of tuberculosis (all forms) in the period 1970 to 2030 was estimated using a life-table model for the Dutch population without the impact of immigration. The influence of immigration on tuberculosis incidence among the Dutch was modelled using four immigrant scenarios, distinguished by the assumed contact rate between immigrants and the Dutch population, and by different projections (middle, upper) of the future size of the immigrant population in The Netherlands.

RESULTS: The incidence of smear-positive tuberculosis among the Dutch is projected to be 1.4 per million in the scenario without the influence of immigrant cases, and ranging from 3.8 to 11.8 per million in the four immigrant scenarios. In all immigrant scenarios, the prevalence of tuberculosis infection will continue to decline and be less than 1% by the year 2030. At least 60% of Dutch tuberculosis cases in the year 2030 are expected to be the result of transmission from a foreign source case.

CONCLUSION: Using a prevalence of tuberculosis infection of less than 1% as the elimination criterion, tuberculosis will probably be eliminated from the indigenous Dutch population by 2030. However, the incidence of smear-positive tuberculosis is expected to remain higher than 1 per million, and the majority of new tuberculosis cases among the Dutch may be attributable to recent infection from a foreign source case.
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Keywords: elimination; epidemiology; immigration; projection; scenario; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Pallas, Health Research and Consultancy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2: Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis Association, The Hague, The Netherlands and Department of Public Health (MGZ), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 3: Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis Association, The Hague, The Netherlands

Publication date: 01 February 2002

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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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