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Tuberculosis in children: a national survey of notifications in England and Wales in 1988. Medical Research Council Cardiothoracic Epidemiology Group.


A survey of all notified cases of tuberculosis in England and Wales in children (less than 15 years old) in 1988 was undertaken to study changes in the frequency and distribution of disease in the population since similar surveys in 1978-9 and 1983. There were 294 children with newly notified previously untreated tuberculosis, an annual rate of 3.1/100,000. Children of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi (Indian subcontinent) ethnic origin formed the largest group (134 (46%)), but only 29 (22%) of these children were born outside the UK. The rate for children of Indian subcontinent ethnic origin born abroad (53/100,000) was twice that for those born in the UK (26/100,000), but the latter was 17 times higher than the rate for white children (1.5/100,000). These ratios have changed little since the first survey in 1978-9 and highlight the need for improvement in the prevention and control of tuberculosis in children known to be at increased risk.

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