Introduction: During the recent years, the incidence of tuberculosis has increased worldwide. Aim of this study is to investigate the incidence of tuberculosis and the personal and clinical characteristics of patients who were diagnosed with the disease during the years 2003-2009, in Greece.
Material and Methods: The material of this research was 869 handwritten reports of patients diagnosed with tuberculosis, acquired from the National Reference Centre of Tuberculosis, for the period 2003-2009. The reports included information about the personal characteristics, ethnicity, location of the disease, type of therapy and the results of the diagnostic tests.
Results: Most patients (67.4%) were male, the majority resided in the Attica area (75.4%) and the most prevalent age group was that of 31-40 years (21,5%). The percentage of patients living within a group was 14.3%, while 337 patients were immigrants, shaping the largest population group. Regarding the number of years living in Greece the higher rates were found among patients living in Greece between 2 and 8 years. The result of the Mantoux control test and the chest x-rays were found to be positive at a rate of 79.5% and 94.8% respectively. To the majority of the cases, the location was pulmonary (82.8%). Most patients (95.5%) were receiving anti-tuberculosis treatment, contrary to the past (before registration). Finally, immunosuppression was found at 11.1% of the cases, while the available information regarding the kind of mycobacterium was found to be insufficient
Discussion: The large number of special groups (ie immigrants) and the existence of multi resistant stems are factors against the elimination of tuberculosis in Greece. A more efficient registration mechanism of tuberculosis would be more than welcome, especially towards the complete registration of all existing cases. A suitable electronic system to interconnect hospitals with the Reference Centre would vastly improve the epidemiologic surveillance of the disease.
Keywords (MeSH): incidence, registries, tuberculosis