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BMJ Open. 2013 Apr 3;3(4). pii: e001489. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001489. Print 2013.

Influence of the 2009 financial crisis on detection of advanced pulmonary tuberculosis in Osaka city, Japan: a cross-sectional study.

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1
Department of Infectious Diseases, Osaka City Public Health Office, Osaka City, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association between the economic recession and the detection of advanced cases of pulmonary tuberculosis in Osaka city from 2007 to 2009.

DESIGN:

A repeated cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Osaka city has been the highest tuberculosis burden area in Japan. After the previous global financial crisis, the unemployment rate in Osaka prefecture has deteriorated from 5.3% in 2008 to 6.6% in 2009.

PARTICIPANTS:

During the study period, 3406 pulmonary tuberculosis cases were enrolled: 2530 males and 876 females; 1546 elderly cases (65 years and above) and 1860 young cases (under 65 years); 417 homeless cases and 2989 non-homeless cases.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Patients' information included the sex, age, registry, health insurances, places of detection, sputum smear test results, patients' delay, doctors' delay and the grade of chest x-ray findings. They were statistically analysed between 2007 and 2008, two years before and just before the financial crisis, and between 2008 and 2009, just before and after the financial crisis.

RESULTS:

The total numbers of pulmonary tuberculosis cases were 1172 in 2007, 1083 in 2008 and 1151 in 2009. In health examinations for non-homeless people, higher number of cases in 2009 were sputum smear positive, had respiratory symptoms and showed advanced disease in chest x-rays than those in 2008, with a longer patients' delay. On the contrary, in health examination for homeless people, fewer cases of advanced pulmonary tuberculosis were found in 2009 than in 2008, with a shorter patients' delay. In clinical examinations, there was no trend towards a difference between non-homeless and homeless people.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although homeless people might be protected by public assistance, tuberculosis prevention and control need to be reinforced for the non-homeless population after the financial crisis.

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