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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tuberculosis in the African-American Community

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Disparities in tuberculosis (TB) persist among members of racial and ethnic minority populations. In 2005, the majority (82%) of all reported TB cases in the United States (US) occurred in racial and ethnic minorities.  Black, non-Hispanic persons, have a disproportionate share of TB in the US.

In 2005, TB was reported in 3,927 black, non-Hispanic persons, 28% of all persons reported with TB nationally. In 2005, the rate of TB in black, non-Hispanic persons was 10.8 cases per 100,000 population, which is more than 8 times higher than the rate of TB in white, non-Hispanic persons (1.3 cases per 100,000 population).

The proportion of TB in black, non-Hispanic persons, is even greater if only US-born (African American) persons reported with TB are examined. Among US-born persons reported with TB in 2005, 45% were African Americans (black, non-Hispanic).

Although rates of TB in both blacks and whites have declined substantially over the past decade, the disparity remains. We must better target our efforts to prevent and control TB in this population. Addressing the TB disparity among African Americans and other US-born racial/ethnic groups is an important priority. 

Source: MMWR March 24, 2006, Vol. 55 (No. 11); 305 – 306

Note: The 2005 data contained within this report are provisional.  For additional information, please go to: MMWR March 24, 2006, Vol. 55 (No. 11); 305 – 306.


Last Reviewed: 05/18/2008
Content Source: Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention


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