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Annu Rev Med. 1991;42:267-76.

Tuberculosis in elderly persons.

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Arkansas Department of Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205.


As tuberculosis has been controlled in the western world, it has retreated into enclaves. The largest of these is among persons who are now over age 65, many of whom carry tubercle bacilli in dormant lesions implanted in earlier years and still capable of causing tuberculosis as life forces wane. The diagnosis is all too often not thought of in this age group; as a result, a patient with what was thought to be an episode of bronchitis or bronchopneumonia may die after having exposed a number of young health workers to tuberculosis in a country where it should have been eliminated several years ago. The purpose of this paper is to heighten the index of suspicion of tuberculosis among physicians caring for the elderly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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