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Free Content Tuberculosis mortality trends in Taiwan: a resurgence of non-respiratory tuberculosis

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SETTING: Population-based study in Taiwan.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the tuberculosis (TB) mortality trends in Taiwan by site and age.

DESIGN: Mortality data for the years 1972 to 2001 were used to calculate the age/site-specific mortality rate (deaths per 100000 population). The year of change in the slope of mortality trends was estimated by iterative piecewise regression analysis.

RESULTS: A levelling off in mortality trends was noted in the late 1980s for all age groups except those aged 75 and above. Except in the age group 25–44 years, the trends in respiratory TB mortality showed a smooth decline. However, for non-respiratory TB mortality, a reversal of the decline was noted for all age groups since 1994–1995. A twofold increase in the number of deaths from central nervous system (CNS) and ‘other’ TB was noted. A marked increase in the number of deaths from old TB was noted since 1992–1996.

CONCLUSION: TB mortality trends in Taiwan have not declined as expected over the past decade. The slowing down of the decline in TB mortality was mainly attributable to a levelling off of respiratory TB mortality in the age group 25–44 and a reversal of non-respiratory TB mortality trends, especially in the 25–44 and ≥65 years age groups.
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Keywords: Taiwan; cause of death; epidemiology; mortality; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan; and Institute of Health Policy and Management, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan 2: Center for Chest Disease, Department of Health, Tainan, Taiwan 3: Department of Internal Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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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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