Decline of tuberculosis notification rate in different populations and regions in Portugal, 2010–2017

A. Sentís, A. Prats-Uribe, V. R. Peixoto, J. A. Caylà, M. D. Gomes, S. Sousa, R. Duarte, I. Carvalho, C. Carvalho

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Background: Tuberculosis (TB) incidence declined in Portugal in recent decades, but trends differ between regions and population subgroups. We investigated these differences to inform prevention and control programmes. Methods: We extracted TB notifications from the Portuguese National TB Surveillance System (SVIG-TB) in 2010–2017, disaggregated by region, age group, nationality and HIV status. We calculated notification rates using denominators from the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and performed stratified time series analysis. We estimated interannual decline percentages and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using Poisson and binomial negative regression models. Results: The overall TB notification rate decreased from 25.7 to 17.5/100,000 population from 2010 to 2017 (5.2%/year) in Portugal. Interannual decline did not differ significantly between regions, but it was smaller amongst non-Portuguese nationals (-1.57% [CI: -4.79%, 1.75%] vs -5.85% [CI: -6.98%, -4.70%] in Portuguese nationals); children under five years of age (+1.77% [CI: -4.61%, 8.58%] vs -5.38% [CI: -6.33%, -4.42%] in other age groups); and HIV-negative people (-6.47% [CI: -9.10%, -3.77%] vs -11.29% [CI; -17.51%, -4.60%] in HIV-positive). Conclusions: The decline in TB notification rates in Portugal during the study period has been steady. However, the decline amongst non-Portuguese nationals, children under five years of age and non-infected-HIV patients was lower. No significant differences were observed between regions. Changes in TB epidemiology in specific risk groups and geographical areas should be closely monitored to achieve the objectives of the End TB Strategy. We recommend intensifying screening of TB in the subpopulations identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S36-S43
Issue numberSuppl 4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Notification rate
  • Portugal
  • Time trend analysis
  • Tuberculosis


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