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Revista Española de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1135-5727

Abstract

ALONSO MORENO, Francisco Javier et al. Prevalence of Tuberculosis Infection among Immigrants in the Toledo Health District, Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.78, n.5, pp. 593-600. ISSN 1135-5727.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57272004000500004.

Background: The rise in the frequency of tuberculosis is due to several factors: resistance to treatment, human immunodeficiency virus infection, unemployment, poverty and migratory movements. This study is aimed at ascertaining the prevalence of tuberculosis infection among the immigrant population in the Toledo Health District. Methods: Descriptive, cross-sectional, multi-center study conducted at the Primary Care level. The immigrants were attracted and recruited on the based of their health cards within the December 2002-September 2003 period. Mantoux intradermal reaction test was performed with 0.1 ml (2UT) of PPD RT-23, following informed consent. Other variables were collected: age, sex, weight, country of origin, work situation, BCG vaccination, number of individuals living with them, length of time residing in Europe. Results: A total of 344 immigrants were included in the study, averaging 28.8 ± 12.7 years of age. Fifty percent were females (172). They had been living in Europe for an average of 3.4±3.7 years. A total 78.8% (271) of the immigrants completed the study. The intradermal reaction was positive in 75 of them [27.7% (CI 95%: 23.-32.5)]. Those immigrants showing a positive Mantoux were older (age 32.5 ± 8.5 years) than those showing a negative result (age 27.7 ± 13.8 years), p=0.006. Originally being from the sub-Saharan area increased the probability of showing a positive intradermal reaction. Conclusions: The immigrant population of the Toledo Health District shows a high prevalence of tuberculosis infection, which is higher than the general Spanish population. Differences exist depending upon the country of origin. These results indicate the importance of considering the Mantoux test among the preventive activities addressed toward this immigrant population.

Keywords : Tuberculosis; Immigration; Primary health care.

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