TB in Specific Populations
Tuberculosis (TB) is a challenging disease to diagnose, treat, and prevent. Although anyone can get TB, it disproportionately affects certain populations. Clinicians, health care agencies, and community organizations, especially those serving populations at risk for TB disease, have a critical role in TB elimination.
Some groups of people are affected by TB more than others. The occurrence of TB at greater levels among certain population groups is often referred to as a health disparity. Differences may occur by gender, race or ethnicity, income, comorbid medical conditions, or geographic location.
In 2019, TB disease was reported in 1,753 non-Hispanic Black or African American persons in the United States, accounting for nearly 20% of all people reported with TB nationally
TB disease in children under 15 years of age (also called pediatric tuberculosis) is a public health problem of special significance because it is an indicator of recent transmission of TB. Also, infants and young children are more likely than older children and adults to develop life-threatening forms of TB disease.
TB in correctional settings is a public health concern. In 2019, 3.1% of TB cases were reported among residents of correctional facilities at the time of diagnosis. The incarcerated population contains a high proportion of people at greater risk for TB than the overall population.
In many countries, TB is much more common than in the United States. TB is a serious international public health problem. Although multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB are occurring globally, they are still rare. All travelers should avoid high risk settings where there are no infection control measures in place.