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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2010 May;14(5):585-92.

Neighbourhood risk factors for tuberculosis in Hong Kong.

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Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.



Tuberculosis (TB) has been reported to be associated with poverty, especially in developing countries. Hong Kong is one of the few industrialised areas with a high incidence of TB where previous reports on the effect of poverty at neighbourhood level have been conflicting.


To examine the spatial distribution of TB and its association with neighbourhood risk factors.


A total of 17 294 TB cases notified from 2005 to 2007 were mapped down to the District Council Constituency Area (DCCA) level, and were indirectly standardised by age and sex using 2006 census population data. The standardised TB ratio was correlated with neighbourhood risk factors classified by family, ethnicity, economic and environmental domains.


The indirect age- and sex-standardised ratio demonstrated a spatially varied pattern, and was significantly associated with all neighbourhood factors on univariate analysis. Only marital status, place of birth and low household income were independently associated with the standardised TB ratio on multivariate analysis.


Despite the virtual elimination of absolute poverty by a well-developed social assistance scheme, low household income in the neighbourhood was significantly associated with TB, independently of place of birth, marital status and other risk factors.

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