Objectives: This study investigated the socioeconomic profile of foreign-born tuberculosis patients in New Jersey.
Methods: Foreign- and US-born tuberculosis patients in 1994-1999 were compared using various measures of socioeconomic status.
Results: Out of 4295 tuberculosis patients, 2005 (47%) were foreign-born. Foreign-born patients resided in more affluent, more educated, and less crowded areas than did US-born patients (P <.005). They were also more likely to have been employed during the 2 years before diagnosis (62% vs 41%, P <.001). Private physicians treated the majority of South Asian-born patients.
Conclusions: Substantial numbers of employed foreign-born tuberculosis patients now reside in affluent New Jersey locations. Changes in tuberculosis control programs may be required when the socioeconomic status and place of residence of foreign-born populations diverge from traditional assumptions linking poverty with tuberculosis.