Slide 007 Epidemiologic Basis of Tuberculosis Control
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The median age (the age at which half of the patients are younger, and half older) of tuberculosis patients in many industrialized countries has markedly increased over the past fifty years as this example from Finland shows.  This will have an effect on exposure risk in the population.

We cannot discuss descriptive epidemiology of exposure, because we have no tool to measure it.  However, this concept is of great importance, as it will have direct repercussions on the risk of becoming infected.

In just 30 years, the median age of tuberculosis patients has moved from the generation of parents to that of grandparents.

People preferentially socialize with peers of the same age, thus interactions are intra-generational. In the case of parents, the important interactions are both inter- and intra-generational. In Europe, it is largely the parents (not the grandparents) who take care of the youngest. In other societies this may differ.

In any case, in which age tuberculosis predominanlty occurs, will have important repercussions on the risk of exposure in different population segments.

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Last update: September 10, 2010