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Iran J Public Health. 2015 Nov;44(11):1526-34.

Predicting the Incidence of Smear Positive Tuberculosis Cases in Iran Using Time Series Analysis.

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Health Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Health, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.
Environmental Health Engineering Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran; Monash Centre for Occupational & Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
Dept. of Epidemiology, Faculty of Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Determining the temporal variation and forecasting the incidence of smear positive tuberculosis (TB) can play an important role in promoting the TB control program. Its results may be used as a decision-supportive tool for planning and allocating resources. The present study forecasts the incidence of smear positive TB in Iran.


This a longitudinal study using monthly tuberculosis incidence data recorded in the Iranian National Tuberculosis Control Program. The sum of registered cases in each month created 84 time points. Time series methods were used for analysis. Based on the residual chart of ACF, PACF, Ljung-Box tests and the lowest levels of AIC and BIC, the most suitable model was selected.


From April 2005 until March 2012, 34012 smear positive TB cases were recorded. The mean of TB monthly incidence was 404.9 (SD=54.7). The highest number of cases was registered in May and the difference in monthly incidence of smear positive TB was significant (P<0.001). SARIMA (0,1,1)(0,1,1)12 was selected as the most adequate model for prediction. It was predicted that the incidence of smear positive TB for 2015 will be about 9.8 per 100,000 people.


Based on the seasonal pattern of smear positive TB recorded cases, seasonal ARIMA model was suitable for predicting its incidence. Meanwhile, prediction results show an increasing trend of smear positive TB cases in Iran.


Box-Jenkins; Forecasting; Iran; SARIMA; Tuberculosis


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