Tuberculosis infection rates

James Howard (
Tue, 16 Jul 1996 13:48:04 GMT

Under the same social conditions, blacks are infected more by
Mycobacterium tuberculosis than whites (The New England Journal of
Medicine 1990; 322: 422).

It is known that "AIDS patients are disproportionately black (26%) and
Hispanic (13%), compared with the proportions of blacks (12%) and
Hispanics (6%) in the U.S. population (Journal of the American Medical
Association 1989; 261: 201). "The prevalence [of HIV] among black
teenaged applicants (1.06 per 1000) was greater than among white (0.18
per 1000) or Hispanic (0.31 per 1000) teenaged applicants [to the
military]." Journal of the American Medical Association 1990; 263:

I think these findings lend credibility to differences in infection
rates among races. These data could indicate that the tremendous
death rates, caused by infectious organisms transported by European
exploration of the Americas, were due to new infectious agents and
additional phenomena characteristic of the native groups, that
increased vulnerability to infection.

James Howard