Screening Latino adolescents for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI)

Carol Sipan, Elaine J. Blumberg, Melbourne Hovell, Norma Kelley, Kathleen Moser, Miguel Ocaña, Lawrence Friedman, Josephine Acosta, Alicia Vera, Marc Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives. To investigate the rates of latent TB infection (LTBI) in a sample of young people in San Diego County and examine potential predictors of a positive tuberculin skin test (TST). Methods. Latino and foreign-born students from ten public middle and high schools were invited to screenings along with a random 10% sample of all other students. After obtaining parental consent, Mantoux tests were placed (N=2,598) and read (n=2,667 [98.9%]) in 48-72 hours. A positive TST was defined as ≥10 mm induration. The mean age of the sample was 14.34 years (SD=1.81); 50.1% were female (n=1,353); 78.5% were Latino (n=2,108); 35.7% were foreign-born (n=939); and 44.3% were uninsured (n=930). Results. The positive TST rate for Latinos was 21.8% vs. 5. 6% for non-Latinos, p<0.001. Foreign-born Latinos had the highest infection rate (31.3%), followed by foreign-born non-Latinos (20.4%), U.S.-born Latinos (15.4%), and U.S.-born non-Latinos (1.0%), p<0.001. Logistic regression was conducted to determine predictors of TST positivity. Being Latino (odds ratio [OR]=3.27), uninsured (OR=1.60), foreign-born (OR=3.90), and living in the south county region closest to the U.S./Mexico border (OR=2.72) were significant predictors. Conclusions. Results suggest that Latino youth near the California/Mexico border are at high risk for infection, for remaining undiagnosed, and for being under-treated for LTBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-433
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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