Research carried out by TB specialists across London found that the increased concentration of TB in marginalised groups presents new challenges for the agencies trying to halt its spread.
“TB has risen considerably in major European cities in the last 10 years and London is no exception” says lead researcher Dr Gill Craig from The City University’s Institute of Health Sciences.
“Increased migration, poverty, HIV, poor quality and overcrowded housing, homelessness, the failure of TB control in institutionalised populations and lifestyle factors related to drug misuse have all played a role.
“Models of care that can cater for both the social and medical needs of patients are an essential, but often neglected, aspect of TB management and one that needs to be urgently addressed if we are to tackle this growing health issue.”
The study, which covered 250 patients attending one London hospital between January 2003 and January 2005, found that the disease was more common among men (57 per cent) and people aged between 20 and 39 (60 per cent).
Other key findings included:
- 42 per cent of TB patients were from Africa, 27 per cent from Asia, 24 per cent from the UK and 6 per cent from the rest of Europe.
- Just under a third were homeless, with 11 per cent living in a hostel or on the streets and a further 21 per cent staying with friends or relatives. 39 per cent were receiving welfare benefits and 13 per cent had no income.
- 16 per cent weren’t registered with a family doctor, 13 per cent were seeking asylum and 16 per cent did not speak English as their first language.
- More than a third anticipated problems taking their medicine and 30 per cent had no-one to remind them, suggesting a lack of social support.
- 48 per cent were admitted to hospital during their treatment, with hospital admissions for homeless people being longer and costing two and a half times more than admissions for non-homeless people.
- People were most likely to miss appointments if they had previously had TB or misused drugs or alcohol.
- A third of the 81 patients tested for HIV were positive.
“Our study shows that greater emphasis is needed on developing a social model of care, which includes TB link workers to enable access to housing and allied support services and promote partnership working with the statutory and voluntary sectors” concludes Dr Craig.
“That’s why The City University has developed a course to help professionals who deal with TB patients to work together in an effective and co-ordinated way.
“Meanwhile, the challenge for commissioners of TB services will be to link the evidence for social care with health policy and practice in order to re-configure services with an emphasis on social support and prevention.”
The World Health Organization estimates that TB affects 8.8 million people a year and causes 1.6 million deaths.
Provisional figures from the UK’s Health Protection Agency show that London accounted for 42 per cent of all cases reported in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2006, with an incidence of 45.8 per 100,000 residents.
Annette Whibley | alfa
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences