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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

SCHNEIDER, Eileen; LASERSON, Kayla F.; WELLS, Charles D.  and  MOORE, Marisa. Tuberculosis along the United States-Mexico border, 1993-2001. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.16, n.1, pp. 23-34. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892004000700004.

OBJECTIVES: Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading public health problem and a recognized priority for the federal Governments of both Mexico and the United States of America. The objectives of this research, primarily for the four states in the United States that are along the border with Mexico, were to: (1) describe the epidemiological situation of TB, (2) identify TB risk factors, and (3) discuss tuberculosis program strategies. METHODS: We analyzed tuberculosis case reports collected from 1993 through 2001 by the tuberculosis surveillance system of the United States. We used those data to compare TB cases mainly among three groups: (1) Mexican-born persons in the four United States border states (Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas), (2) persons in those four border states who had been born in the United States, and (3) Mexican-born persons in the 46 other states of the United States, which do not border Mexico. RESULTS: For the period from 1993 through 2001, of the 16 223 TB cases reported for Mexican-born persons in the United States, 12 450 of them (76.7%) were reported by Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. In those four border states overall in 2001, tuberculosis case rates for Mexican-born persons were 5.0 times as high as the rates for persons born in the United States; those four states have 23 counties that directly border on Mexico, and the ratio in those counties was 5.8. HIV seropositivity, drug and alcohol use, unemployment, and incarceration were significantly less likely to be reported in Mexican-born TB patients from the four border states and the nonborder states than in patients born in the United States from the four border states (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that among pulmonary tuberculosis patients who were 18-64 years of age and residing in the four border states, the Mexican-born patients were 3.6 times as likely as the United States-born patients were to have resistance to at least isoniazid and rifampin (i.e., to have multidrug-resistant TB) and twice as likely to have isoniazid resistance. Mexican-born TB patients from the four border states and the nonborder states were significantly more likely to have moved or to be lost to follow-up than were the TB patients born in the United States from the four border states (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Increased collaborative tuberculosis control efforts by the federal Governments of both Mexico and the United States along the border that they share are needed if tuberculosis is to be eliminated in the United States.

Keywords : Tuberculosis; population surveillance; antitubercular agents; Mexico; United States; international cooperation.

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