Missed opportunities to prevent tuberculosis in foreign-born persons, Connecticut, 2005-2008

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (Impact Factor: 2.32). 08/2011; 15(8):1044-9. DOI: 10.5588/ijtld.10.0518
Source: PubMed


Factors that influence testing for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among foreign-born persons in Connecticut are not well understood.
To identify predictors for LTBI testing and challenges related to accessing health care among the foreign-born population in Connecticut.
Foreign-born Connecticut residents with confirmed or suspected tuberculosis (TB) disease during June 2005-December 2008 were interviewed regarding health care access and immigration status. Predictors for self-reported testing for LTBI after US entry were determined.
Of 161 foreign-born persons interviewed, 48% experienced TB disease within 5 years after arrival. One third (51/156) reported having undergone post-arrival testing for LTBI. Although those with established health care providers were more likely to have reported testing (aOR 4.49, 95%CI 1.48-13.62), only 43% of such persons were tested. Undocumented persons, the majority of whom lacked a provider (53%), were less likely than documented persons to have reported testing (aOR 0.20, 95%CI 0.06-0.67). Hispanic permanent residents (immigrants and refugees) and visitors (persons admitted temporarily) were more likely than non-Hispanics in the respective groups to have reported testing (OR 5.25, 95%CI 1.51-18.31 and OR 7.08, 95%CI 1.30-38.44, respectively).
The self-reported rate of testing for LTBI among foreign-born persons in Connecticut with confirmed or suspected TB was low and differed significantly by ethnicity and immigration status. Strategies are needed to improve health care access for foreign-born persons and expand testing for LTBI, especially among non-Hispanic and undocumented populations.

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