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Scottish national survey of tuberculosis notifications 1993 with special reference to the prevalence of HIV seropositivity.
  1. A. G. Leitch,
  2. M. Rubilar,
  3. J. Curnow,
  4. G. Boyd,
  5. G. I. Forbes,
  6. S. Burns,
  7. B. Watt
  1. Royal Victoria Chest Clinic, Chalmers Hospital, Edinburgh, UK.


    BACKGROUND: The study sought to determine the contribution of HIV seropositivity to the arrest of decline in tuberculosis notifications in Scotland. METHODS: Survey forms relating to each tuberculosis notification in 1993 were completed by the notifying consultant. Voluntary anonymous HIV testing of tuberculosis cases aged under 65 was requested. Age, sex, ethnic status, country of birth, employment status, occupation, previous tuberculosis, contact status, risk factors for HIV infection, HIV serostatus of cases aged under 65, site, radiological extent, and bacteriological status of tuberculous disease were determined. RESULTS: Five hundred and seventy four cases of tuberculosis were originally notified, of which 77 (14%) subsequently proved to be non-tuberculous and were therefore denotified. Of the 497 cases 423 (85%) were white and 58 (12%) were from the Indian subcontinent. Eighty five per cent of patients from the Indian subcontinent were aged < 55 years whereas 64% of white patients were aged > 55 years. Pulmonary disease was found in 74%, non-pulmonary in 22%, and combined disease in 4% of patients. Of 242 HIV tests performed, three were positive and five other HIV positive patients were known, giving an HIV positivity rate of 1.6% of all tuberculosis notifications in 1993. Annual notification rates for Scotland were 9.7 per 10(5) before and 8.7 per 10(5) after exclusion of previously treated cases; rates were 8.4 per 10(5) for the white population and 179 per 10(5) for those from the Indian subcontinent. CONCLUSIONS: The study documents the distribution of tuberculous disease in Scotland by age, sex, site, and ethnic group for the first time. Notification practices, with respect to denotification, need to be improved. Infection with HIV is presently uncommon in cases of tuberculosis in Scotland but continued vigilance is essential.

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