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NTM Prevalence Is on the Rise

December 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm

By John Hansen-Flaschen, MD, editor, Annals of the American Thoracic Society

Follow Dr. Hansen-Flaschen on Twitter @AnnalsATSEditor

Increasing Prevalence Rate of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Infections in Five States, 2008-2013 

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infection is on the rise, but NTM is not a nationally reportable disease. In their December Annals of the American Thoracic Society article, Maura J. Donohue and Larry Wymer report the prevalence of NTM in five states that do track the disease: Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  From 2008 to 2013, 24,226 NTM cases were reported in these states. Over the six years, age-adjusted prevalence rates rose from 8.7 to 13.9 per 100,000 persons. Those over the age of 50 were at higher risk of infection than those younger. Because the population is aging, the authors argue that national surveillance is necessary “to help reduce the costly health care impact of NTM infection and improve the population quality of life.”

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