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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


SOUZA, Wayner Vieira et al. Tuberculosis in Brazil: construction of a territorially based surveillance system. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.39, n.1, pp.82-89. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the occurrence of tuberculosis and to identify variables that define situations of collective risk that determine the spatial distribution of the disease, as backing for implementing a territory-based surveillance system for tuberculosis control. METHODS: This was an ecological study performed in Olinda, a municipality in the metropolitan region of Recife, State of Pernambuco, between 1996 and 2000. The median number of notified tuberculosis cases in each census tract served as the cutoff point for characterizing areas of high and low transmission. A logistic regression model using this response variable allowed odds ratios for some socioeconomic variables from the 2000 demographic census and other covariates related to the transmission of the disease to be estimated. RESULTS: Tuberculosis in Olinda presented high incidence rates during the study period (average of 111 cases per 100,000 inhabitants). Significant associations with the occurrence of tuberculosis were found for the variables of average number of inhabitants per household (OR=2.2; 95% CI: 1.3; 3.6); existence of families with more than one case during the study period (OR=5.1; 95% CI: 2.3; 11.3); and presence of cases of retreatment (OR=6.8; 95% CI: 2.7; 17.1). The census tract where the latter two events occurred accounted for 45% of the total number of cases during the study period, while representing only 28% of the population of Olinda. CONCLUSIONS: The two explanatory covariates that were strongly associated with higher incidence rates of the disease are events that need to be carefully monitored at a local level by the tuberculosis surveillance system. Simply by mapping out retreatment cases and households with more than one case, attention could be focused on small areas with high priority for intensive intervention, thus facing up to the tuberculosis problem.

Keywords : Tuberculosis [prevention control]; Epidemiologic surveillance; Spatial distribution.

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