Seasonality of tuberculosis in Israel, 2001–2011
OBJECTIVE: To determine the seasonality of TB in Israel and to explore possible associations with climatic variables.
METHODS: Laboratory-confirmed TB cases reported between 2001 and 2011 in individuals resident in Israel for at least 1 year before diagnosis were included in the study. Climatic variables included average temperature and average ultraviolet radiation. The mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of the population was also recorded.
RESULTS: Of all 2653 TB cases, incidence peaked during spring (n = 712) and reached its nadir during the fall (n = 577), with a case proportion amplitude (CPA) of 5.1% (P = 0.036). Individuals born in the Horn of Africa exhibited a CPA of 9.5% (P = 0.077). Mean population 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was significantly correlated with the seasonal pattern of the disease. Southern Israel had the highest global radiation and, counter-instinctively, the highest TB incidence.
CONCLUSIONS: TB exhibited a seasonal tendency in Israel, with the spring peak/fall nadir pattern found elsewhere. Vitamin D is suspected to be an explanatory variable for this seasonal phenomenon. The finding that the highest incidence is in the area receiving the highest global radiation suggests population-related vulnerability to vitamin D deficiency.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel 2: The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel; Department of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Centre, Jerusalem, Israel 3: Ramla Department of Health, Ministry of Health, Ramla, Israel; School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Publication date: December 1, 2016
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