September 29, 2009
Non-TB lung disease increasing in the U.S.
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says incidents of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria lung disease are increasing across the nation.
Researchers said non-tuberculous mycobacteria are environmental organisms found in both water and soil that can cause severe pulmonary disease in humans -- and a large study indicates the disease is increasing.
A research team led by epidemiologists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, analyzed hospital discharge records of patients in 11 states whose combined total population represents 42 percent of the country. They said they reviewed database records spanning 1998 to 2005 and identified more than 16,475 hospitalizations associated with non-tuberculosis mycobacteria in people without AIDS.
Before the widespread availability of combination antiretroviral therapy, pulmonary disease was a common opportunistic infection among people with AIDS. The study was limited to patients not suffering from AIDS.
Researchers said of the 11 states studied, Florida, New York and California had 62 percent of the pulmonary hospitalizations.
Study results show while overall prevalence of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria lung disease is higher in women, prevalence increases for both sexes in the fifth or sixth decade of life, the scientists said.
The research appears in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.