Health Protection Agency
Publication date: December 2009
In 2008 in the UK, 8,655 cases of tuberculosis were reported, a rate of 14.1 per 100,000 population. This represents an increase of 2.2% in the rate of disease compared with 2007.
The main burden of disease was concentrated in major urban areas; 39% of cases were reported from London, a rate of 44.3 cases per 100,000. Nineteen primary care organisations had a rate of 40 per 100,000 or over, all of which covered major urban areas.
The majority of cases continue to occur in the non-UK-born (72%) and those aged 15-44 years (61%). The rate of tuberculosis among the non-UK-born population has declined to 86 per 100,000; most were diagnosed two or more years after entry into the UK (77%). Rates in the UK-born population, at around 4 per 100,000, are not declining. The rate of tuberculosis in children under five years of age remained stable, at around 5 per 100,000, suggesting recent transmission is occurring in the UK.
Just over half of all cases were culture-confirmed (56%). Sputum-smear test results were only reported for two-thirds of pulmonary cases, 56% of which were sputum-smear positive. Cases presenting exclusively with extra-pulmonary disease accounted for 45% of all cases.
The proportion of cases resistant to isoniazid decreased to 6%, while resistance to rifampicin and multi-drug resistance was stable, at 1.5% and 1.1% respectively, all within the recommended levels. The proportion of cases with treatment outcome reported improved (96% of all cases in 2007). For the first time, the proportion of patients completing treatment increased (81%) but remained below recommended levels.The most common reasons for not completing treatment were death (6%), still being on treatment (5%) and being lost to follow-up (5%).
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Last reviewed: 8 January 2010