Who is most likely to get TB?

Some people are more likely to be infected with the latent form of TB. These include:

  • persons who were born in a foreign country with high rates of TB
  • persons who have lived in a foreign country with high rates of TB
  • persons who have spent time with someone with active TB disease
  • persons who live or spend a lot of time in crowded places

Some people who are infected with latent TB have a greater risk of progressing to active TB disease. These include:

  • persons who became infected with TB in the last 2 years
  • children under 5 years of age
  • new immigrants from countries with high rates of TB - persons who have been in the United States for less than 5 years
  • persons with weakened immune systems
  • persons with certain kinds of lung disease, such as silicosis
  • persons with diabetes
  • persons who have had stomach or bowel surgery
  • persons who take certain medications for arthritis
  • persons who take prednisone or other steroids for extended periods of time
  • persons who have had cancer of the head, neck or leukemia
  • persons with end stage renal disease
  • persons who are extremely underweight (10% or more below ideal body weight)
  • persons with an abnormal chest x-ray suggestive of old healed TB disease
  • persons who had TB disease in the past but did not receive adequate treatment
  • persons with HIV infection. Persons with HIV infection have the greatest risk of progressing to active TB disease.

Last modified on 01/12/2015