Rationale: A central strategy of tuberculosis (TB) control in the United States is reducing the burden of latent TB infection (LTBI) through targeted testing and treatment of persons with untreated LTBI. Objectives: The objective of the study was to provide estimates of and risk factors for engagement in LTBI care in the overall U.S. population and among specific risk groups. Methods: We used nationally representative data from 7, 080 participants in the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Engagement in LTBI care was assessed by estimating the proportion with a history of testing, diagnosis, treatment initiation, and treatment completion. Weighted methods were used to account for the complex survey design and to derive national estimates. Results: Only 1.4 million (10%) of an estimated 14.0 million individuals with an LTBI had previously completed treatment. Of the 12.6 million who did not complete LTBI treatment, 3.7 million (29%) had never been tested and 7.2 million (57%) received testing but had no history of diagnosis. High-risk groups showed low levels of engagement, including contacts of individuals with TB and persons born outside the United States. Conclusions: There is a reservoir of more than 12 million individuals in the United States who may be at risk for progression to TB disease and potential transmission. TB control programs and community providers should consider focused efforts to increase testing, diagnosis, and treatment for LTBI.
- Engagement in care
- Latent tuberculosis infection
- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
- Tuberculosis epidemiology