Tuberculosis in an Urban Area in China: Differences between Urban Migrants and Local Residents

Xin Shen, Zhen Xia, Xiangqun Li, Jie Wu, Lili Wang, Jing Li, Yuan Jiang, Juntao Guo, Jing Chen, Jianjun Hong, Zheng'an Yuan, Qichao Pan, Kathryn DeRiemer, Guomei Sun, Qian Gao, Jian Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: The increase in urban migrants is one of major challenges for tuberculosis control in China. The different characteristics of tuberculosis cases between urban migrants and local residents in China have not been investigated before. Methodology/Principal Findings: We performed a retrospective study of all pulmonary tuberculosis patients reported in Songjiang district, Shanghai, to determine the demographic, clinical and microbiological characteristics of tuberculosis cases between urban migrants and local residents. We calculated the odds ratios (OR) and performed multivariate logistic regression to identify the characteristics that were independently associated with tuberculosis among urban migrants. A total of 1,348 pulmonary tuberculosis cases were reported during 2006-2008, among whom 440 (32.6%) were local residents and 908 (67.4%) were urban migrants. Urban migrant (38.9/100,000 population) had higher tuberculosis rates than local residents (27.8/100,000 population), and the rates among persons younger than age 35 years were 3 times higher among urban migrants than among local residents. Younger age (adjusted OR per additional year at risk = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.91-0.94, p<0.001), poor treatment outcome (adjusted OR = 4.12, 95% CI: 2.65-5.72, p<0.001), and lower frequency of any comorbidity at diagnosis (adjusted OR = 0.20, 95% CI: 0.13-0.26, p = 0.013) were significantly associated with tuberculosis patients among urban migrants. There were poor treatment outcomes among urban migrants, mainly from transfers to another jurisdiction (19.3% of all tuberculosis patients among urban migrants). Conclusions/Significance: A considerable proportion of tuberculosis cases in Songjiang district, China, during 2006-2008 occurred among urban migrants. Our findings highlight the need to develop and implement specific tuberculosis control strategies for urban migrants, such as more exhaustive case finding, improved case management and follow-up, and use of directly observed therapy (DOT).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51133
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 30 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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