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Commentary
June 8, 2005

Tuberculosis, Vulnerability, and Access to Quality Care

Author Affiliations
 

Author Affiliations: Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Francis J. Curry National Tuberculosis Center, San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco (Drs Hopewell and Pai); and Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley (Dr Pai).

JAMA. 2005;293(22):2790-2793. doi:10.1001/jama.293.22.2790

As with most infectious diseases, tuberculosis (TB) is not randomly distributed; it thrives in specific groups and under specific conditions in association with identified and unidentified factors that confer vulnerability to the disease. Available information on the association between TB and the many known conditions and circumstances that influence vulnerability to the disease has been reviewed recently and is summarized in the Box.1,2 These conditions and circumstances mainly include 3 broad categories of factors: individual biological factors (eg, immunodeficiency states), social and economic circumstances (eg, crowding, poverty, poor nutrition), and environmental and institutional factors (eg, silica dust, poor ventilation).

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