Area-Based Sociodemographic Factors Associated with Latent Tuberculosis Infection in a Low-Prevalence Setting

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2023 Aug 14;109(3):595-599. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.22-0788. Print 2023 Sep 6.


Area-based sociodemographic markers, such as census tract foreign-born population, have been used to identify individuals and communities with a high risk for tuberculosis (TB) infection in the United States. However, these markers have not been evaluated as independent risk factors for TB infection in children. We evaluated associations between census tract poverty, crowding, foreign-born population, and the CDC's Social Vulnerability Index (CDC-SVI) ranking and TB infection in a population of children tested for TB infection in Boston, Massachusetts. After adjustment for age, crowding, and foreign-born percentage, increasing census tract poverty was associated with increased odds of TB infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] per 10% increase in population proportion living in poverty: 1.20 [95% CI, 1.04-1.40]; P = 0.01), although this association was attenuated after further adjustment for preferred language. In separate models, increasing CDC-SVI ranking was associated with increased odds of TB infection, including after adjustment for age and language preference (aOR per 10-point increase in CDC-SVI rank: 1.08 [95% CI, 1.02-1.15]; P = 0.01). Our findings suggest area-based sociodemographic factors may be valuable for characterizing TB infection risk and defining the social ecology of pediatric TB infection in low-burden settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Latent Tuberculosis* / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sociodemographic Factors
  • Tuberculosis* / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology