SETTING: The northern circumpolar jurisdictions Canada (Northwest Territories, Nunavik, Nunavut, ... Read more
SETTING: The northern circumpolar jurisdictions Canada (Northwest Territories, Nunavik, Nunavut, Yukon), Finland, Greenland, Norway, Russian Federation (Arkhangelsk), Sweden and the United States (Alaska).
OBJECTIVE: To describe and compare demographic, clinical and laboratory characteristics, including drug resistance and treatment completion, of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the northern circumpolar populations.
DESIGN: Descriptive analysis of all active TB cases reported from 2006 to 2012 for incidence rate (IR), age and sex distribution, sputum smear and diagnostic site characteristics, drug resistance and treatment completion rates.
RESULTS: The annual IR of TB disease ranged from a low of 4.3 per 100 000 population in Northern Sweden to a high of 199.5/100 000 in Nunavik, QC, Canada. For all jurisdictions, IR was higher for males than for females. Yukon had the highest proportion of new cases compared with retreatment cases (96.6%). Alaska reported the highest percentage of laboratory-confirmed cases (87.4%). Smear-positive pulmonary cases ranged from 25.8% to 65.2%. Multidrug-resistant cases ranged from 0% (Northern Canada) to 46.3% (Arkhangelsk). Treatment outcome data, available up to 2011, demonstrated >80% treatment completion for four of the 10 jurisdictions.
CONCLUSION: TB remains a serious public health issue in the circumpolar regions. Surveillance data contribute toward a better understanding and improved control of TB in the north.