Although many studies have identified social conditions associated with tuberculosis, contextual and individual factors have rarely been analysed simultaneously. Consequently, we aimed to identify contextual and individual factors associated with tuberculosis incidence in general population in Brazil in 2010. We also assessed whether household crowding mediates the association between socioeconomic determinants and tuberculosis incidence. Individual data of tuberculosis cases were obtained from 5,565 municipalities in Brazil in 2010 (last year of national census), and merged with contextual variables. The associations were evaluated in a multilevel analysis using negative binomial regression. After adjusting for individual factors (age, sex and race) and geographic region, the following contextual factors were associated with tuberculosis incidence rate: AIDS incidence rate [incidence rate ratio (IRR), 1.21; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.18–1.24], unemployment rate (IRR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.13–1.19), Gini coefficient (IRR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02–1.08), proportion of inmates (IRR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.09–1.14), mean per capita household income (IRR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.91–0.97) and primary care coverage (IRR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92–0.96). Inclusion of household crowding in the multivariate model led to a loss of the associations of both Gini coefficient and mean per capita household income. In conclusion, our findings suggest that income inequality and poverty, as determinants of tuberculosis incidence, can be mediated by household crowding. Moreover, prison population can represent a potential social reservoir of tuberculosis in Brazil and should be addressed as a priority for disease control. Finally, the negative association between primary health coverage and tuberculosis incidence highlights the importance of this level of care as a strategy to control this disease.
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Source: PLOS ONE