Risk Factors for TB

People Who are More At Risk

Persons at risk for exposure to persons with TB disease include the following:

  • Known close contacts of a person with infectious TB disease
  • Persons who have emigrated from TB-endemic regions of the world
  • Persons who work or reside in facilities or institutions with people who are at high risk for TB, such as hospitals that care for TB patients, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, or residential facilities for patients with HIV infection/AIDS

Health Conditions as Risk Factors

 Persons at risk for progression from LTBI to TB disease are associated with the following conditions and factors:

  • HIV infection
  • Injection drug use
  • Radiographic evidence of prior healed TB
  • Low body weight (10% below ideal)
  • Other medical conditions such as:
    • Silicosis
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Chronic renal failure or on hemodialysis
    • Gastrectomy
    • Jejunoileal bypass
    • Solid organ transplant
    • Head and neck cancer
    • Conditions that require prolonged use of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive agents such as TNF alpha
    • Antagonists
  • Recent TST converters (that is, persons with baseline testing results who have an increase of 10 mm or more in the size of the TST reaction within a 2-year period)
  • Infants and children under the age of 5 who have a positive TB test result

Of note, the risk of progression is greatest in the first 1 or 2 years after infection.