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Coll Antropol. 2011 Jun;35(2):523-8.

Epidemiological patterns of tuberculosis in Croatia in the period 1996-2005.

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  • 1University of Split, Teaching Public Health Institute of Split and Dalmatia County and School of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Service, Department of Tuberculosis Control, Split, Croatia


The last comprehensive publication on tuberculosis in Croatia and the earliest impact of war, besides the yearly routine reports, was done in 1996 in Croatian. We were, therefore, interested to explore incidence trends and to highlight the early post-war tuberculosis epidemiological patterns in the next ten years period (1996-2005). A retrospective analysis of epidemiological data on all registered tuberculosis cases in Croatia searching the databases of 21 Croatian Public Health Institutes and the National Tuberculosis Registry was made. During the study period, the total tuberculosis incidence rates in Croatia dropped from 45 to 25.8/100 000 inhabitants. The average highest age-specific rates were recorded in the age group > or = 65 years being in decrease in all age groups. Paediatric cases (0-14 years) represented 4.5% of all cases. Tuberculosis cases among males were recorded in 64% cases, and 83.6% were indigenous population. Tuberculosis was bacteriologically confirmed in 67.7% cases. A low proportion of drug resistance (3.3%) was recorded. During 1985-2005, 56 tuberculosis cases among 242 AIDS cases were reported. Tuberculosis mortality showed a decreasing trend (p < 0.001). However, tuberculosis has still had the highest mortality rates among infectious diseases in Croatia. Despite the War chain of events and tuberculosis programmatic changes, tuberculosis incidence rates in Croatia have been decreasing but they are still far away from national target, incidence rate of 10/100 000 declared in 1998 and much higher than in European Union and Western Europe. Tuberculosis among children, resistance to tuberculosis drugs and HIV prevalence, significant problems in many European countries, have not caused problems in tuberculosis control in Croatia. This favourable epidemiological situation must be kept and improved through strengthened tuberculosis control measures.

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