Long-term trends in tuberculosis: Comparison of age-cohort data between Hong Kong and England and Wales

Karen Tocque*, Mark A. Bellis, Cheuk M. Tam, Shiu L. Chan, Qutubuddin Syed, Tracey Remmington, Peter D.O. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The caseload of tuberculosis in developing countries is increasingly associated with the elderly. This is possibly due to increased longevity today and a change in the lifetime risk of tuberculosis within birth cohorts. Published data for tuberculosis notifications for Hong Kong and England and Wales have been used to calculate age-specific rates of disease by different age groups for different birth cohorts. In Hong Kong, each birth cohort showed a similar pattern of disease by age, with rates peaking in the 25 to 39-yr age groups and gradually declining thereafter. After 1978, regardless of age at that time, all age cohorts showed an increase in tuberculosis rates with increasing age. This trend was more marked in males than females. A similar pattern was seen for birth cohorts in England and Wales except that the peak occurred earlier in life (before 25 yr of age) and the decline with age ceased in 1984. Thereafter, rates increased in males born before 1930 but showed only a leveling off in females. If these data represent a true increase in tuberculosis rates, rather than resulting from a change in reporting accuracy and completeness, the burden of tuberculosis in the elderly is likely to continue to increase substantially.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-488
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Volume158
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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