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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


TB Challenge: Partnering to Eliminate TB
in African Americans

Fall 2003

TB in African Americans:  Data from the 2002 Surveillance Reports
Zachary Taylor, M.D., Chief, Field Services and Evaluation Branch

Black, non-Hispanic persons continue to have a disproportionate share of TB cases in the United States.  In 2002, 4,439 cases of TB occurred in black, non-Hispanic persons.  This represents 30% of all cases.  The rate of TB in blacks is 12.6 cases per 100,000 population, compared to 1.5 cases per 100,000 population in white, non-Hispanic persons, resulting in a black:white rate ratio of  8.4. 

The proportion of TB cases in African Americans is even greater if only TB cases occurring in US-born persons are examined.  In 2002, there were 7,296 cases reported in US-born persons, 48% of all TB cases reported in the US.  Of those cases in US-born persons, 3,387 occurred in black, non-Hispanic persons, representing 47% of all US-born cases.

Although rates of TB in both blacks and whites have declined substantially over the past decade, the disparity remains and is the legacy of poverty, racism, and poor access to care.  To close the gap, increased efforts must be made to eliminate TB in African Americans in the United States.

Reported TB Cases by Race/Ethnicity, United States, 2002


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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