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Free Content Incidence and risk factors for pulmonary tuberculosis among the poor in the northern region of Poland

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Abstract:

SETTING: The falling trends in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) incidence observed in European countries may be due both to an improving epidemiological situation and to a shift of tuberculosis (TB) towards socially important subpopulations; this trend may cause some TB cases to go unnoticed. Identification of such risk groups should be the basis for prevention programmes aimed at containing the spread of the disease.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence and risk factors for PTB among the poor.

DESIGN: The study material was based on the data of 7380 people living in poverty, including 243 homeless adults, aged between 18 and 96 years. Potential medical and socio-economic risk factors were evaluated with regard to PTB incidence.

RESULTS: The TB incidence rate in the group studied was estimated at 730 per 100000 population. The main risk factor was homelessness, with a TB incidence rate in the homeless group of 4290/100000. According to our data, socio-economic factors correlated much more closely with a final TB diagnosis than subjective disease symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Efficient TB control requires prevention programmes aimed at systematic monitoring of the homeless. A population with such a high proportion of TB patients is a dangerous source of TB.

Keywords: epidemiology; homelessness; poverty; social factors; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Niepubliczny Zakład Opieki Zdrowotnej (NZOZ) Pantamed Ltd, Olsztyn, Poland 2: Department of Biopharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Collegium Medicum, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Bydgoszcz, Poland 3: Office of the Marshal of the Warminsko-Mazurskie Province, Department of Health, Olsztyn, Poland 4: Independent Public Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Unit, Olsztyn, Poland

Publication date: 2008-04-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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