Tuberculosis Prevalence Among US Crop-Workers, 2000 to 2012: Trends and Contributing Factors

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Abstract

Objective:

We intend to study tuberculosis (TB) in one of the poorest communities in the US, hired agriculture workers, for most recent years (2000 to 2012) including the last recession period.

Methods:

Time-chart, simple mean differences, and logistic regressions were used to describe TB-prevalence and risk factors among US crop-workers. Data were drawn from the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS).

Results:

A high TB-prevalence was found among crop-workers with a dramatically increasing trend in recent years. Hispanic ethnicity, having farmworker family members, the presence of health insurance, and good spoken English were associated with an increased TB-prevalence.

Conclusion:

We found risk factors related to ethnicity and poor access to health care, a strong association between agriculture activity and TB, and an increase of TB-cases due to the 2008 downturn in this underserved population. We urge the health authorities to control this epidemic.

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