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Increase of bone and joint tuberculosis in The Netherlands

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  • Biology
  • Medicine


There has been an increase in the incidence of bone and joint tuberculosis (BJTB) in The Netherlands and we have carried out an epidemiological study in order to find an explanation for this increase. Data from 1993 to 2000 from The Netherlands Tuberculosis Register (NTR) were used. In 1993 there was a total of 52 patients with BJTB. This figure increased gradually to 80 in 1999 before decreasing to 61 in 2000. There was a total of 12447 patients with tuberculosis; BJTB was found in 532, accounting for 4.3% of all cases and 10.6% of all extrapulmonary cases. Localisation in the spine occurred in 56%. Certain immigrants, in particular from Somalia, were more likely to have BJTB than other immigrants or the native Dutch population. Increased age and female gender were associated with BJTB. Only 15% of BJTB patients also suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis. The usual long delay in the diagnosis of BJTB may be shortened if physicians are more aware of tuberculosis

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