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University of Toronto Scarborough
Larry Sawchuk

Ecological analysis of ethnic differences in relationbetween tuberculosis and povertyTuberculosis has been linked with poverty since the 19th centuryNotification rates for tuberculosis have fallen substantially in England and Wales this century coinciding with improving living conditions and improved treatmentHowever since the 1960s this decline has slowed with an increasing proportion of cases occurring in immigrants from countries with a high prevalence of tuberculosisThe proportion of notified cases in the United Kingdom among people of south Asian origin hereafter termed Asians has increased successivelyAsian people predominantly acquire new infection from infected people in the same community or when visiting the Indian subcontinent but white people generally have reactivation of endogenous latent infectionIndeed age is an important risk factor affecting the magnitude of tuberculosis morbidity in the population but the age distribution of the population of these two ethnic groups differs considerablyIt is therefore not safe to assume that social factors which affect tuberculosis incidence in one of these ethnic groups will do so for the otherWe attempted to discover whether the link between tuberculosis and deprivation holds true in Birmingham for the whole population and for white and Asian ethnic groups analysed separatelyWe found significant associations between markers of deprivation and incidence of tuberculosis for the white population but not for the Asian population This implies that the association between poverty and tuberculosis previously demonstrated may not be generaliza
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