Research Article

National survey of notifications of tuberculosis in England and Wales in 1983. Medical Research Council Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases Unit.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: (Published 07 September 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:658


In a survey of all notifications of tuberculosis in England and Wales for the first six months of 1983 56% of the 3002 newly notified patients who had not been treated before were of white and 37% were of Indian subcontinent (Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi) ethnic origin, findings similar to those of a survey in 1978-9. In the four and a quarter years between the surveys the number of patients notified had declined by 26%, the decline being 28% among those of white and 23% among those of Indian subcontinent ethnic origin. The white patients were on average older than the patients of Indian subcontinent ethnic origin, and a higher proportion of them had respiratory disease (82% compared with 66%). The pulmonary lesions were on average larger and more often bacteriologically positive in the white patients. There were considerable differences between the ethnic groups in the estimated yearly rates of notifications per 100 000 population in England in 1983. The highest rates occurred in the Indian (178) and the Pakistani and Bangladeshi (169) populations and were roughly 25 times the rate in the white population (6 X 9). In the Indian subcontinent ethnic groups the highest rates occurred among those who had arrived in the United Kingdom within the previous five years.