Epidemiology of TB: Updates from CDC studies to be presented at ATS 2007

ATS 2007, SAN FRANCISCOThe latest research from two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies looking at the epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) in the United States will be presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference on Sunday, May 20, in San Francisco. The studies focus on two groups with higher-than-average rates of TB: foreign-born persons and African Americans living in the southeastern United States.

The session, which the media is invited to cover, will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 132 at the Moscone Center.

Were doing pretty well all over the United States in eliminating tuberculosis, but among people who are born in a foreign country, the incidence of TB is declining much more slowly, says Dolly Katz, Ph.D., M.P.H., who will present data from the CDCs study on the Epidemiology of TB in Foreign-Born Persons in the United States. The incidence of TB is nine times higher in foreign-born persons than in U.S-born persons, which indicates a problem, she says. We really dont know very much about the circumstances of foreign-born people who have TB.

Current surveillance information provides very minimal information, she points out. We decided to do a study of foreign-born people with TB to get a better picture of TB among this population.

The study was conducted at 22 sites in the United States and Canada, and included about 1,700 foreign-born people with TB, including 200 children. The researchers interviewed subjects for an hour, asking questions including:

  • What kind of symptoms did you have before you came to the doctor"
  • How long did the symptoms last"
  • Did you treat yourself, go to an emergency room, or a doctor, or a healer"
  • When you went for treatment, what tests and treatments were you given"
  • How was your illness explained to you by the doctor"
  • What language did the doctor use in talking to you"
  • What happened to you next"

Contact: Suzy Martin
American Thoracic Society

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