Prevalence of Tuberculin Skin Test Positivity in Clinical Population in New York City
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The prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in the various populations of New York City (NYC), a city with a high density of non-US-born persons, is unknown. We examined the prevalence of TST positivity in patients who received a tuberculin skin test (TST) between 1/2002 and 8/2004 at any of 10 NYC health department chest centers. A positive TST was defined as an induration reaction to tuberculin of ≥10 mm. In the study population of 41,022 individuals, prevalence of TST positivity was 24.4% (95%CI = 24.0, 24.8); four times higher among non-US-born persons than US-born (39.5% vs. 8.8%, Prevalence ratio (PR) = 4.5; 95%CI = 4.4, 4.6). Prevalence of TST positivity increased with age in both US and non-US-born persons. Persons from countries with a TB case rate >100/100,000 population had higher prevalence of TST positivity (47% vs. ≤39%), even after controlling for BCG (PR = 1.3, 95%CI = 1.2, 1.4). These findings provide insight into current prevalence of TST positivity in many immigrant populations and will help both clinicians and health departments to target patients for LTBI treatment.
KeywordsPrevalence Tuberculin skin test Immigrants
The authors thank Drs. Cynthia R. Driver and Richard Menzies for their thorough review and helpful comments that led to an improved manuscript.
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