Did the 'Great Recession' produce a depression in tuberculosis incidence?

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2011 May;15(5):700-2. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.10.0480.


In 2009, the United States experienced a record drop in its tuberculosis (TB) case rate, coinciding with a major economic downturn. To investigate this relationship, we modeled short-term changes in gross domestic product, unemployment, and immigration as predictors of TB incidence. We also correlated each state's 2009-2010 change in unemployment with its 2008-2009 change in TB incidence. Although economic factors did not explain the decline, the 2009-2010 change in unemployment negatively correlated with incidence. We hypothesize that factors related to increased unemployment, such as diagnostic delay, may have played a role in the sudden drop in TB case rates.

MeSH terms

  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Economic Recession*
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data
  • Gross Domestic Product / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology