Inequalities in the incidence of infectious disease in the North East of England: a population-based study

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The objective of this study was to measure the association between deprivation and incidence of 21 infectious diseases in the North East of England (2007–2011). We used count regression models with the Index of Multiple Deprivation and population/landscape data for small areas (∼1500 persons). Deprivation significantly predicted incidence (P < 0·05) for 17 infectious diseases. The direction of association was broadly consistent within groups: increased incidence with increased deprivation for all three bloodborne viruses, 2/3 invasive bacterial diseases, 4/5 sexually transmitted infections (STI) and tuberculosis (TB); decreased incidence with increased deprivation for 5/6 infectious intestinal diseases (IID) and 2/3 vaccine-preventable diseases. Associations were removed for all but one IID (E. coli O157 infection) after accounting for recent foreign travel. Hepatitis C virus, TB and STI are priority infections for reduction of inequalities associated with deprivation in the North East of England.

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