Social determinants of tuberculosis: a nationwide case-control study, Denmark, 1990-2018

Anne Christine Nordholm*, Aase Bengaard Andersen, Christian Wejse, Anders Norman, Claus Thorn Ekstrøm, Peter Henrik Andersen, Anders Koch, Troels Lillebaek

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


BACKGROUND: The global vision is a world free of tuberculosis (TB). Even in resource-rich TB low-incidence settings, we need more focus on the role of social risk factors to end the TB epidemic.

METHODS: Nationwide, retrospective register-based, case-control study from 1990 to 2018, including all TB patients in Denmark ≥18 years old (n = 9581) matched 1:3 on sex and age with population controls. TB risk factors were assessed in logistic regression models and estimated by odds ratio (OR).

RESULTS: All TB patients had considerably lower socio-economic status compared with controls (P < 0.0001). Among ethnic Danes, TB was mostly found among males, persons between 35 and 65 years, those living alone, those with low educational level, persons on social welfare benefits and those with low income. Conversely, for migrants, being younger, sex and living alone were less important, whereas having children was protective. In an adjusted multivariable regression model among Danes, key risk factors for TB were being on disability pension (OR = 2.7) and cash benefits (OR = 4.7). For migrants, fewer social risk factors increased TB risk, although low income and cash benefits did (OR = 3.1).

CONCLUSION: Even today in a resourceful setting, socio-economic status drives disparities in health. In our study, multifactorial social deprivation was highly associated with TB. Especially household structure, education, employment and income were important risk factors that should be addressed in the future to accelerate TB control and end the TB epidemic.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)1446-1456
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 13 okt. 2022


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