Impact of Tuberculosis in Elderly Population

Impact of Tuberculosis in Elderly Population

Gagan Chooramani, Pooja Singh
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3480-8.ch018
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The World Health Organization has declared that the spread of tuberculosis is a global emergency. Despite the implementation of strong tuberculosis-control initiatives by WHO, this highly infectious disease continues to affect all vulnerable populations, including the elderly population. Adverse social factors and poor living conditions also affect the elderly much more than the young. The clinical characteristics of tuberculosis in older adults can be unusual and may be confused with age-related illnesses. Various factors related to old age can also cause complications in the diagnosis, treatment, and disease outcomes for tuberculosis patients. The contributory factors may be poor memory, deafness, mental confusion, or impairment of speech. In addition, therapy for tuberculosis in elderly individuals is challenging because of the increased incidence of adverse drug reactions. Hence, understanding the impact of these substantial aspects will help to overcome the problem of tuberculosis in the elderly population.
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World Scenario

Tuberculosis continues to be a world-leading cause of disease and death, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, which carry the bulk (>95%) of the global tuberculosis disease burden (WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2013). Worldwide, the number of people > 60 years is expected to increase by more than double, from 841 million people in 2013 to more than two billion people in 2050. It is projected that in 2047, older persons will exceed the number of children for the first time. Currently older people live in the developed world, but the older population is also growing rapidly in less developed regions such that projections for 2050 predict nearly 80% of the world’s older population will be living in less developed countries. (WHO, 2013). The 2010 Global Burden of Disease estimates shows that 57% of all tuberculosis deaths globally occurred among people older than 50, with more than half of these deaths in those aged 65 and above (Negin, Abimbola, & Marais, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Tuberculosis (TB): Is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body.

Elderly Population: The elderly population is defined as people aged 65 and over. The elderly dependency rate is defined as the ratio between the elderly population and the working age (15-64 years) population.

Diagnosis: The identification of the nature of an illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms.

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