Epidemiology of Tuberculosis in First Nations Living On-Reserve in Canada, 2000–2008

The reported incidence rate of tuberculosis in Canada is among the lowest in the world. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the reported incidence of TB has steadily declined in the general Canadian population over the past 30 years. Certain populations in Canada continue to be disproportionately affected, including foreign-born Canadians, persons who abuse substances, the homeless and Aboriginal peoples. For example, while the 2006 Census reports that Aboriginal peoples account for just under 4% of the Canadian population, 21% of all TB cases occurred in this population in 2008.

The disparity in TB rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations in Canada is to some extentaffected by social determinants of health (SDOH).Complex interactions among the SDOH can increase an individual’s risk of becoming infected with TB, as well as the risk of progression to active TB disease. Certain determinants of health increase the level and duration of exposure to infection, while others can weaken an individual’s immune system, increasing the likelihood of infection. The relationship between these determinants of health and TB, including how this relationship has the potential to impact First Nations living on-reserve, is reviewed in greater detail in Appendix A. (Authors)

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