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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  

TB Challenge: Partnering to Eliminate TB in African Americans

Reported Tuberculosis Among African Americans, 2005

Elvin Magee, MPH, MS, Health Scientist, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch

Elvin MageeElvin Magee, MPH, MS, is a health scientist in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigation Branch.  As health scientist, he supports the Division of TB Elimination.  He has focused his research efforts on TB in African Americans.

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. Reported TB Cases by Race/Ethnicity*, United States, 2005**

Figure 1. Reported TB Cases by Race/Ethnicity*, United States, 2005**

Black or African American, non-Hispanic persons continue to have a disproportionate share of TB cases in the United States.  As shown in Figure 1, this group represented 3,954 cases or 28% of all cases reported in 2005. Of this total, 2,442 were male and 1,512 were female.

U.S.-born blacks represented 2,887 or 45% of all reported U.S.-born TB cases in 2005.

Figure 2. TB Case Rates by Race/Ethnicity, United States, 1993-2005*

Figure 2. TB Case Rates by Race/Ethnicity, United States, 1993-2005*

Although rates of TB in both U.S.-born blacks and whites have declined substantially over the past decade, Figure 2 illustrates that a disparity remains. 

From 1993 through 2005, the rates in non-Hispanic blacks remained higher than those in non-Hispanic whites. Among U.S.-born TB cases, rates in blacks decreased from 28.0 per 100,000 to 8.9, whereas the rates in whites decreased from 3.4 to 1.1, for a risk ratio of 8.1.

Figure 3. TB Case Rates by Race/Ethnicity, United States*, 1993-2005**

Figure 3. TB Case Rates by Race/Ethnicity, United States*, 1993-2005**

Figure 3 above is the same as Figure 2, but the rates are presented on a logarithmic scale to better illustrate the trend in TB rates among U.S.-born blacks and whites. The lines show a steady rate of decline among both groups; however, the disparity remains the same over time.

Figure 4. TB Among persons with Risk Factors*, 1993-2005

Figure 4. TB Among persons with Risk Factors*, 1993-2005

To close the gap, increased efforts must be made to eliminate TB in blacks in the United States. Recent surveillance data indicate blacks are more likely than whites to be homeless, incarcerated, or have a recent history of substance abuse. Figure 4 graphically illustrates the difference in disease burden among these persons with risk behaviors. Although the percentages of cases of TB among blacks who have these risk factors may be declining slightly over time, TB among these persons, both blacks and whites, remains a problem. These surveillance data suggest greater need for targeted testing and evaluation among all persons with risk factors associated with TB.

 


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
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