Throughout the years, we’ve seen a significant decrease in worldwide tuberculosis, or TB, incidence rates. This has been achieved through lengthy work and research in a tough battle that has not yet completely eliminated the disease.
The medical condition known as tuberculosis is caused by bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. As menacing as it may sound, tuberculosis is treatable and curable—or at the very least, it can be kept in check.
Nevertheless, tuberculosis is still a major threat to human health, and raising awareness about the disease is more than necessary. Hence, we’ve put together these tuberculosis statistics. After all, nowadays there are several variants of the disease, each with their respective preventive measures and treatment options.
The following facts and stats provide a better understanding of the current global situation at hand, which will hopefully result in a big step toward the ultimate goal of eradicating this condition.
TB Statistics & Data – (2020 update)
- TB cases are recorded in all 50 US states.
- Non-US-born residents have a 15 times higher TB incidence rate than those born in the US.
- Asians face a 33 times greater risk of getting TB than whites.
- TB is among the top 10 leading causes of death globally.
- 95% of TB cases are recorded in developing countries.
- Nearly 8% of TB cases globally are attributed to tobacco use.
- Two-thirds of TB cases are recorded in a total of 8 countries worldwide.
- The total cost of TB treatment in 2017 in the US was $463 million.
- The preventive treatment for latent tuberculosis costs only $600.
- People with HIV are 20 to 30 times more likely to get TB.
TB Rates in the US
1. According to the latest research, cases of tuberculosis are found across all 50 states in the US.
The latest research has shown that, despite the best of efforts, cases of tuberculosis have been recorded in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC). In this regard, DC and New York City, along with eleven states, have recorded rates higher than the national average of 2.8 cases per 100,000 residents. Nearly half of the total incidence rate of tuberculosis outbreak in the US is limited to just four states: California, New York (New York City included), Texas, and Florida.
2. At this time, there is little chance of achieving the goal of total disease elimination by the turn of the century.
In 2017 there were a total of 9,105 TB cases, according to the latest numbers on reported tuberculosis cases and the subsequent stats on TB in the US. When compared to records from 2016, numbers show only a 1.6% decrease in total cases over the course of the whole year.
In terms of the national US incidence rate, 2.8 cases per 100,000 residents were noted in 2017, showing a 2.3% incidence rate decrease from 2016. Unfortunately, according to estimates, there needs to be a 3.9% yearly decrease in the national rate if we want to see TB eliminated by the end of the century.
Source: CDC & Infectious Disease Advisor
3. The TB rates in US-born and non-US-born residents differ greatly in terms of TB infection cases.
In fact, there’s a drastic difference. The recorded case rate is approximately 15 times higher among those not born in the US (14.7 cases per 100,000 individuals) than it is among US-born persons (1 case in 100,000 individuals). For the most part, such an increase is noted due to the fact that many travelers, as well as immigrants, come from countries with high TB rates.
4. Demographics reports show that the TB case rate among Asians is 33 times greater than it is among whites in the US.
Other races or ethnicities are also noted to have shown higher case rates of TB. For African Americans, there’s a nine times greater case rate than whites, while for Hispanics/Latinos, it is eight times greater.
TB Statistics Worldwide
5. TB is the leading cause of death in HIV-positive patients.
So far, this bacteria is known to bring its most disastrous consequences on those infected with the HIV virus. In addition, TB places at the top among the leading infectious medical conditions responsible for causing death in the world, and HIV isn’t far below it.
6. Throughout the world, how many people have tuberculosis?
|Country||Incidence Rate per 100,000 People||Mortality Rate per 100,000 People (HIV+TB excluded)||Mortality Rate per 100,000 People (HIV+TB only)|
|Central African Republic||423||68||58|
7. TB is ranked among the top 10 global causes of death.
More precisely, about a quarter of the world’s population is currently estimated to be infected with TB, though this includes cases of latent TB. Out of the whole lot, 10 million people have been infected in 2017 alone, and 1.6 million were reported to have died from this medical condition.
8. Developing countries with high TB rates make up 95% of all recorded TB cases and deaths.
The causes of this generally include the lack of proper healthcare infrastructure, poor social and economic stability, low living standards, and the like. Apart from these macro-causes, there are additional risks that contribute to the higher TB rates among specific populations worldwide.
Tobacco use, for one, is a major cause, with 7.9% of TB cases attributed to this cause globally. Countries with high rates of homeless people, as well as higher recorded cases of diabetes and HIV are at greater risk. As a matter of fact, 4.6% of recorded TB cases in 2017 were among the homeless, 19.9% suffered from diabetes, and 5.5% of all 2017’s TB cases had been co-infected with HIV.
Source: WHO & CDC
9. Globally, the tuberculosis demographics show that the majority of patients are adults (individuals aged 15 or older, in this case).
90% of all reported cases in 2017 were adults, and 64% of the cases were male patients. Further supporting the previous statistic, about two-thirds of TB cases at the time were recorded in eight countries total: India (27%), China (9%), Indonesia (8%), the Philippines (6%), Pakistan (5%), Nigeria (4%), and South Africa (3%).
The Cost of Tuberculosis
15. Treatment of tuberculosis in America cost the government a total of $463 million in 2017.
With tuberculosis, the cost of treatment increases exponentially depending on the gravity of the TB strain that the patient suffers from. In this regard, the direct cost per treatment for XDR TB, according to official data from 2017 amounts to $526,000, while the treatment cost per case of MDR TB is $164,000. The regular strain of TB, on the other hand, incurs much lower expenses for the US government, just $19,000 per case treatment.
16. Treating a latent TB infection more efficiently is the most effective way to lower costs and reduce TB rates.
TB prevalence in the US has encouraged researchers to come up with a more efficient preventive measure. They’ve discovered a way to reduce the timeframe of LTBI treatment and consequently get more patients to complete their treatments fully. For this purpose, they’re proposing a single dose that patients need to take once a week over the course of 12 weeks. It’s estimated to cost about $600 and should reduce other major costs, while also reducing the number of full-on TB disease patients.
TB Infection Rates and HIV
17. People with HIV are 20 to 30 times more likely to contract TB than those with strong immune systems.
Since the HIV virus attacks the immune system, HIV patients become much more susceptible to bacteria like the one causing TB. The bacteria attacks the lungs first. Once it reaches the bloodstream, it could ultimately cause complete organ failure, focusing on the kidneys, brain, and spine.
Source: WHO & TBFacts
18. TB stats on mortality recorded about 300,000 deaths of HIV-associated TB patients in 2017.
The 2017 study showed that an estimated 374,000 people who were already infected with the HIV virus died after contracting TB. When presented in international terms, these deaths are solely attributed to HIV, which is why there is no precise number.
Source: WHO & TBFacts
19. In 2017, 6% of TB patients in the US also tested positive for HIV.
According to tuberculosis statistics in the US, when TB patients were also tested for HIV, 90% took the test and 6% tested positive for both the virus and a specific strain of TB.
Historically, tuberculosis has been one of the most lethal threats to human life. It didn’t remain confined to less developed, rural areas. Instead, it spread throughout the world thanks to the lack of awareness among the people of the time.
Nowadays, tuberculosis seems to be somewhat tamed, although the latest reports show that progress is still far from the desired amount needed to completely eliminate the disease.
Making people understand the risks of infection, the consequences, and the likelihood of contracting this disease should help push people in the desired direction. Learning the latest tuberculosis statistics from the world’s most reliable organizations helps build an even stronger case, and hopefully, it might even save a life or two.