TB in Specific Populations
Tuberculosis (TB) is a challenging disease to diagnose, treat, and control. It is critical to target prevention and control efforts to certain populations so as to reduce disparities related to TB, and further reduce TB rates both in the United States and worldwide.
Despite prevention efforts, 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.
TB disease was once a leading cause of death in the United States, but since 1993, the rates of TB in the country have declined in almost all racial and ethnic groups. In 2018, a total of 9,025 TB cases were reported in the United States; however, Asians continue to be impacted by TB at a greater rate compared to other racial and ethnic groups.
In 2018, a total of 9,025 TB cases were reported in the United States; Hispanics/Latinos continue to be impacted by TB at a greater rate compared to other racial and ethnic groups.
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.
TB disease in children under 15 years of age (also called pediatric tuberculosis) is a public health problem of special significance because it is a marker for recent transmission of TB. Also of special significance, infants and young children are more likely than older children and adults to develop life-threatening forms of TB disease.
Blacks in the United States continue to have a disproportionate share of TB. The percentage of TB cases that occur in African Americans is higher than expected based on the percentage of blacks in the U.S. population. If looking at only people born in the United States, the proportion of TB in African Americans is even greater.
TB in correctional settings is a public health concern. Approximately 4-6% of TB cases reported in the United States occur among people incarcerated at the time of diagnosis. The incarcerated population contains a high proportion of people at greater risk for TB than the overall population.
- Stop TB in the African–American Community Summit(/tb/topic/populations/tbinafricanamericans/summit.htm)
- CDC – Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD)(/minorityhealth/index.html)
- CDC – HIV Among African Americans(/hiv/group/racialethnic/africanamericans/index.html)
- Disparities in HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and TB(/nchhstp/healthdisparities/default.htm)
- Southeastern National TB Center’s African–American Resourcesexternal icon