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TB's Vast Spread In Sub-Saharan Africa Compounded By Mining Activity

March 25, 2017

A new study from the American Journal of Public Health reports that mining is a significant determinant of countrywide variation in tuberculosis among sub-Saharan African nations.

Researchers evaluated the contribution that mining activity has on TB incidence, prevalence and mortality, in addition to rates of TB among people living with HIV, with control for economic, health system and population confounders. They discovered that mining production was associated with higher population TB incidence rates, after adjustments were made for economic and population controls. Similar results were seen for TB prevalence and mortality. Independent of HIV, there were significant associations between mining production and TB incidence in countries with high HIV prevalence.

The study's authors conclude, "Our findings suggest that mining profoundly affects not only the health of miners but also the dynamics of TB incidence in sub-Saharan African nations. ... As shown by the population risk of mining, improved public health and health care conditions for miners may be necessary not only for the miners themselves, but for controlling TB more generally among sub-Saharan African populations."

Source: American Journal of Public Health