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Free Content Evaluation of tuberculosis trends in Spain, 1991–1999

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SETTING: There are no reliable official data available on tuberculosis (TB) in Spain.

OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the epidemiological trends of TB in Spain from 1991–1999.

METHODS: In an annual survey conducted by the Tuberculosis and Respiratory Infections (TRI) Working Group of the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR), data on tuberculosis disease and infection were solicited from two information sources: 1) the public health services of the 17 Autonomous Regions (AR), and 2) 60 TRI members in different parts of Spain.

RESULTS: TB incidence declined from 36.4/100000 in 1991 to 26.7 in 1999 according to the AR (average annual decline 3.3%), and from 45.6 to 26.8 according to TRI members (annual decline 5.1%). A similar observation was made for smear-positive cases (AR annual decline: 3.0%; TRI: 5.6%). Tuberculosis infection at 6 years of age also decreased according to both information sources (AR: 0.87% in 1991 to 0.5% in 1998, annual decline 6%, and TRI members: 1.00% in 1991 and 0.9% in 1997, annual decline 4.2%).

CONCLUSIONS: The observed rates of TB are higher than stated in official figures. In spite of the decreasing trend, observed declines are small and the current rates continue to be among the highest among industrialised countries.
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Keywords: Spain; epidemiology; evolution; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Hospital General Universitario de Gran Canaria ‘Dr Negrín’, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Barcelona, Spain 2: Instituto Municipal de Salut Pública, Servicio de Epidemiología, Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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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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