Tuberculosis among American Indians of the contiguous United States.
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Tuberculosis among American Indians of the contiguous United States.

  • Published Date:

    1989 Nov-Dec

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 104(6):653-657
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.02 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
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  • Description:
    Paleopathologic findings provide strong evidence for the existence of tuberculosis in Andean populations of pre-Columbian America. Indirect evidence is available also to suggest its possible endemicity among some American Indian tribes who lived within the present-day contiguous United States before the arrival of Europeans. The available data suggest that tuberculosis became a major health problem in some tribes with increased population density and cultural changes after increased contact with European civilization, paralleling the deterioration in living conditions after relocation of the tribes to reservations. By 1900, tuberculosis had become one of the most serious health problems among North American Indians. Tuberculosis control was hampered by the lack of a specific treatment, and only the advent of specific chemotherapy in an ambulatory setting brought a breakthrough. Mortality, morbidity, and risk of infection have all sharply decreased over the past three decades. However, tuberculosis incidence rates among American Indians remain well above rates in the white population. An intensified effort to identify those with tuberculosis and those at risk of tuberculosis as well as to develop compliance-enhancing strategies with treatment regimens will be necessary to eliminate tuberculosis from Indian reservations.
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