178181 Knowledge and Perceptions about Tuberculosis Among U.S.- and Foreign-born Adults in the U.S., National Health Interview Survey 2000-2006

Monday, October 27, 2008: 2:30 PM

Kathleen M. Heyman, MS , National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD
Heather L. Free, MPH , National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD

Increasing evidence shows that tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a public health problem in the U.S.; it is therefore important to understand current knowledge and perceptions about TB. We examined self-reported knowledge and perceptions about TB among U.S.-born and foreign-born adults 18 years of age or older by selected socio-demographic characteristics.


The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), conducted annually by the National Center for Health Statistics, uses a multistage probability sample that is representative of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population. This study uses the combined 2000-2006 NHIS, and is based upon responses from 214,625 adults about their knowledge of TB, and their perceptions about modes of transmission, chances of contracting TB, and whether TB can be cured. Logistic regression estimates are presented to compare U.S.- and foreign-born adults' knowledge about TB transmission.


Preliminary results show that foreign-born adults are less likely to have heard of TB compared to U.S.-born adults (OR=0.24). Of those adults who have heard of TB, foreign-born persons are more likely than U.S.-born persons to respond (1) that they know “some” or “a lot” about TB (OR=1.19); (2) with the correct answer that TB is transmitted through “breathing air around persons sick with TB” (OR=1.09); and (3) correctly that there is a cure for TB (OR=1.84).


While the average foreign-born adult in the U.S. is less likely to have heard of TB, those foreign-born adults who have heard of the disease exhibit greater knowledge and more often express correct answers with regard to TB compared to U.S.-born adults.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the impact TB continues to have on the U.S. 2. Describe differences in knowledge and perceptions about TB based on U.S.- and foreign-born status. 3. Discuss the impact of knowledge and perceptions about TB on current methods of its prevention and control.

Keywords: Tuberculosis, National Health Interview Survey

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I do not have a financial relationship with a commercial interest occurring within the past 12 months, and I do not have the opportunity to affect the content of CE.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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