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Tuberculosis: Causes and Risks

By EmpowHER
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Characteristics of individuals infected during tuberculosis outbreaks may be:

1. U.S. birth. While foreign-born U.S. residents have a rate of tuberculosis 10 times that of native-born residents, the outbreaks were home grown. Thus, U.S.-born residents are more likely to infect others. A total of 91 percent of patients in the 2 tuberculosis outbreaks were born in the United States.

2. African-American race. Most patients in these outbreaks, 67 percent, were non-Hispanic blacks.

3. Alcohol abuse. Alcohol has been previously documented as a risk for tuberculosis infection, and alcohol abuse was found in 51 percent of the patients in the CDC study.

4. Living conditions. Thirty-two percent of patients had a history of incarceration, and 20 percent were homeless.

5. HIV infection. At least 12 percent were infected with HIV. Mitruka noted that this is a mimimum estimate because complete testing data were not available.

6. Other. Substance abuse other than alcohol, and immunosuppression other than HIV were minor factors.


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