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Tuberculosis -- United States, 1983

In 1983, a provisional total of 23,532 tuberculosis cases was reported to CDC, a 7.8% decrease from the 1982 final total of 25,520 cases. In 1968-1978, the average annual decrease in U.S. tuberculosis cases was 5.6%. However, in 1979-1981, when there was a large influx of Indochinese refugees, the average annual decline was 1.4%. From 1981 to 1982, the number of cases decreased by 6.8%.

Deaths from tuberculosis continue to occur. For 1982, the provisional estimate of tuberculosis deaths was 1,980, based on a 10% sample of death certificates by the National Center for Health Statistics. This was similar to the final totals of 2,012 and 1,978 deaths in 1979 and 1980, respectively, but was higher than the 1981 provisional estimate of 1,780 deaths. Reported by Div of Tuberculosis Control, Center for Prevention Svcs, CDC.

Editorial Note

Editorial Note: Three factors may have contributed to the decreased number of tuberculosis cases reported in 1983: (1) a larger number of states began using the new national individual case reporting system, which requires more accurate verification of cases before they are counted; (2) the number of refugees arriving with tuberculosis in the United States from around the world declined, as did tuberculosis among Indochinese refugees, all of whom were screened for tuberculosis overseas. Indochinese refugees with tuberculosis have been completing supervised, directly observed chemotherapy before immigrating to the United States; and (3) the number of indigenous tuberculosis cases may have actually declined.

In 1979-1982, the average annual number of tuberculosis deaths was nearly 2,000. Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death among 38 communicable diseases for which mortality data were reported to CDC in 1979 (1). In fact, the number of tuberculosis deaths in 1979 exceeded the combined total for the other 37 communicable diseases. The number of tuberculosis deaths has shown essentially no decline in 1979-1982. Further analysis of tuberculosis mortality is under way.


  1. CDC. Annual summary 1981: reported morbidity and mortality in the United States. MMWR 1982;30(54):11.

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