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Free Content Epidemiology of tuberculosis in Galicia, Spain, 16 years after the launch of the Galician tuberculosis programme

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SETTING: Galicia, Spain.

OBJECTIVE: To describe changes in tuberculosis (TB) epidemiology and characteristics in Galicia, Spain, during the period 1996–2011.

DESIGN: Retrospective observational descriptive study of data obtained from the Tuberculosis Information System. The Galician Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Programme, created in 1994, is based in seven tuberculosis units that actively collect data on case finding and follow-up of all cases of TB in the region.

RESULTS: TB incidence fell from 72.9 cases per 100 000 population in 1996 to 24.6 in 2011 (respectively 40.5 and 14.2 in patients aged <15 years). In 2011, 49.8% (n = 343) of patients were aged between 25–54 years; 62.3% (n = 429) were male; 52.1% (n = 359) had pulmonary TB (PTB) alone, of whom 33.5% (n = 144) had cavitary lesions; 50.7% (n = 218 PTB cases) were sputum smear-positive and 80.5% (346 PTB cases) were culture-positive. The median diagnostic delay was 56 days; 4.6% (n = 32) were human immunodeficiency virus positive and 5.2% (n = 36) were immigrants. The treatment success rate was close to 90%. Contacts of 86.7% of the smear-positive index cases were evaluated.

CONCLUSION: TB incidence in Galicia is progressively decreasing; however, it is still higher than that of neighbouring regions. A long diagnostic delay was observed, which may have contributed to the high incidence rate in children.
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Keywords: evolution; programme; surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Galician Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Programme, Dirección General de Innovación y Gestión de la Salud Pública, Xunta de Galicia, Santiago de Compostella, Spain 2: Tuberculosis Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Complexo Hospitalario de Pontevedra, Pontevedra, Spain 3: Tuberculosis Unit, Department of Preventive Medicine, Complexo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Publication date: 2014-02-01

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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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