U.S. Tuberculosis Rates at Lowest Ever; Foreign-Born, Minorities Most Likely To Be Infected, CDC Study Indicates
The U.S. tuberculosis rate is at its lowest point ever, with foreign-born residents accounting for most of the cases, according to a CDC report released on Thursday, Reuters reports.
According to the report, there were 13,293 TB cases reported in the U.S. in 2007, declining by 4.2% from the previous year to 4.4 cases per 100,000 individuals. Of the total TB cases reported in 2007, 60% were among residents born in other nations. More than 50% percent of cases among foreign-born residents were in individuals born in Mexico, the Philippines, India or Vietnam. Overall, the TB rate among foreign-born residents was 9.7 times higher than among those born in the U.S., according to the report (Dunham, Reuters, 3/20).
The report also found that among U.S.-born residents, minorities were more likely than whites to be infected. According to the report, Asian-Americans were 23 times more likely than whites to have TB, Hispanics were seven times more likely, and blacks were eight times more likely.
The numbers indicate that the U.S. has fallen behind in its goal of eliminating the disease by 2010, which is defined by reaching a rate of less than one case per one million people each year, Bloomberg reports. The goal, set in 1989, also included a target of 3.5 cases per 100,000 by 2000, a rate that remains unmet (Bloomberg, 3/20).
The report is available online.