Risk Factors for Tuberculosis


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About risk factors: Risk factors for Tuberculosis are factors that do not seem to be a direct cause of the disease, but seem to be associated in some way. Having a risk factor for Tuberculosis makes the chances of getting a condition higher but does not always lead to Tuberculosis. Also, the absence of any risk factors or having a protective factor does not necessarily guard you against getting Tuberculosis. For general information and a list of risk factors, see the risk center.

Risk factor list: The list of risk factors mentioned for Tuberculosis in various sources includes:

Risk factors discussion: If you have injected illegal drugs, have been an alcoholic or a health care worker, have been exposed to someone with tuberculosis, have recently moved from Asia, Africa, Central or South America, or the Pacific Islands, or if you have kidney failure or HIV infection1

You should get tested for TB if

  • you have spent time with a person with infectious TB

  • you have HIV infection or another condition that puts you at high risk for TB disease

  • you think you might have TB disease

  • you are from a country where TB disease is very common (most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia, except for Japan)

  • you inject drugs

  • you live somewhere in the U.S. where TB disease is common (most homeless shelters, migrant farm camps, prisons and jails, and some nursing homes)

2

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from General Preventive Care: NWHIC
2. excerpt from Tuberculosis: NWHIC

Last revision: June 23, 2003

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