Tuberculosis Control Program

Contact Information
Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health
Tuberculosis Control Program
2615 S. Grand Avenue, Room 507
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Phone: (213) 745-0800
Fax: (213) 749-0926

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Tuberculosis Control Program

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Public Health Programs and Services
Tuberculosis Control Program
2001 Fact Sheet
Tuberculosis Epidemiology Update

  1. Despite being a preventable and treatable disease, tuberculosis (TB) is still the cause of more than 2 million deaths per year and remains one of the world’s most deadly diseases. Currently, there are 2 billion people worldwide (one third of the world’s population) infected with the TB bacillus (having latent TB infection, or LTBI). The number of people with LTBI increases by approximately 50 million each year. Each day, 20,000 people with LTBI will progress to active TB disease, and 5,000 people will die from TB disease. Tuberculosis used to be known as a socio-economic related disease; 90% of all TB cases occur in developing countries, while 99% of all TB deaths occur in developing countries. However, the epidemics of HIV/AIDS and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) have also impacted on the spread of TB. Tuberculosis is the single most common opportunistic infection for people with HIV. Also, TB is a major cause of death in people who are HIV positive. If TB control measures are not further strengthened and present trends continue, it is estimated that between the year 2000 and the year 2020: nearly one billion people will be newly infected with the TB bacillus; 200 million people will get sick with active TB disease; and 35 million people will die from TB disease. 1
  2. In the United States (U.S.), the number of TB cases has declined for nine straight years since the surge of 1992 (26,673 cases). The provisional number of TB cases reported in 2001 showed a 2.4% decrease, from 16,377 cases in 2000 to 15,991 cases in 2001. 2 However, the number of TB cases in the State of California showed an increase of 1.1% from the year 2000 (3,295 cases) to the year 2001 (3,332 cases), after an eight-year decline between 1992 (5,382 cases) and 2000. 3
  3. During 2001, there were 1,046 TB cases confirmed in Los Angeles County (LAC). This represents a 1.8% decrease in TB cases from 2000 (1,065 cases) and an overall 52.4% decrease since the peak of 1992 (2,198 cases). Similar to the whole nation, this was the ninth year of decline since 1992. The average annual percent decline from 1992 to 2001 was 7.9%.
  4. In Los Angeles County during 2001, there was a greater number of TB cases diagnosed in males (652 cases, 62.3%) than in females (394 cases, 37.7%).
  5. The largest number of reported TB cases was found among the 15-34 year old age group with 267 cases (25.5%), followed by the 65 years and older age group with 246 cases (23.5%), the 45-54 year old age group with 167 cases (16.0%), the 35-44 year old age group with 164 cases (15.7%), and the 55-64 year old age group with 150 cases (14.3%). Compared to 2000, there was an increase in the proportion of TB cases reported in 2001 for the following age groups: 65+, 55-64, and 35-44.
  6. The racial/ethnic breakdown of TB cases reported in 2001 was as follows: 489 (46.7%) Hispanic, 372 (35.6%) Asian/ Pacific Islander, 97 (9.3%) African American, and 88 (8.4%) non-Hispanic White.
  7. During 2001, 77.0% (805) of the 1,046 total TB cases occurred in the foreign-born population. Of the 805 foreign-born cases, 274 (34.0%) were from Mexico, 148 (18.4%) from the Philippines, 56 (7.0%) from China, 55 (6.8%) from South Korea, 51 (6.3%) from Vietnam, 43 (5.3%) from El Salvador, 35 (4.3%) from Guatemala, 16 (2.0%) from India, 14 (1.7%) from Peru, 11 (1.4%) from Honduras, and 9 (1.1%) from Russia. Among the 805 foreign-born TB cases in 2001, 781 (97.0%) had date of arrival in the U.S. identified; 229 (29.3%) were recent immigrants, having immigrated to the U.S. fewer than three years ago.
  8. In 2001, eighty-four (8.0%) TB cases were HIV co-infected; 71 (84.5%) of these were male. Among all HIV-infected TB cases, 47 (56.0%) were Hispanic, 17 (20.2%) were African American, 15 (17.9%) were non-Hispanic White, and 5 (6.0%) were Asian/ Pacific Islander. Twenty-eight (33.3%) of the HIV co-infected cases were in the 35-44 year old age group, 21 (25.0%) in the 45-54 year old age group, and 20 (23.8%) in the 15-34 year old age group. One (1.2%) HIV co-infected TB case was diagnosed in the 0-4 year old age group.
  9. Eighty (7.6%) of the 1,046 TB cases were reported as homeless in 2001; 71 (88.8%) of these were male. Among all homeless TB cases, 43 (53.8%) were Hispanic, 23 (28.8%) were African American, 9 (11.2 %) were non-Hispanic White, and 5 (6.3%) were Asian/ Pacific Islander. Twenty-seven (33.8%) of the homeless TB cases were in the 45-54 year old age group, 22 (27.5%) were in the 35-44 year old age group, and 18 (22.5%) were in the 15-34 year old age group.
  10. A total of 798 (78.2%) of the confirmed TB cases in 2001 were on directly observed therapy (DOT) in Los Angeles County. Directly observed therapy has a great impact on completion of treatment among TB patients. Los Angeles County has been successful in implementing DOT by using incentives and enablers to ensure the completion of treatment among TB cases.

    (Revised June 17, 2002)

    1. Stop TB Initiative Website,
    2. MMWR Weekly, 51(11): 229; March 22, 2002. CDC Website,
    3. Tuberculosis Control Branch, California Department of Health Services.

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