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Arch Hellen Med, 29(3), May-June 2012, 331-335


The prevalence of tuberculin skin positivity among Greek army recruits

G. Michas,1 I.A. Drosatos,2 M. Kokolios,3 A. Kampouras,4 M. Schoina,5 A. Asimakos,6 R. Micha7
1Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital of Kalamata, Kalamata
2Medical Service of the Hellenic Army, Artillery Training Center, Thiva
3Medical Service of the Hellenic Army, 523 Infantry Training Center, Mavrodendri, Kozani
4Medical Service of the Hellenic Army, XXIV Armored Brigade, Litochoro
5Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital of Katerini, Katerini
6Department of Intensive Care Medicine, "Evangelismos" General Hospital, Athens, Greece
7Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

OBJECTIVE Although the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) is declining, it remains one of the leading causes of death among infectious diseases worldwide. In this study, the prevalence and predictors of tuberculin skin testing (TST) positivity were analyzed among Greek army recruits.

METHOD The study population consisted of 3,684 men aged 18−43 years recruited into the Greek army between November 2010 and February 2011. TST was performed on all recruits on enrollment, according to established procedures. A TST reaction size >=15 mm was considered positive. Anthropometric measurements (height, weight) were performed using standard techniques. Data on age, place of residence, and educational level were collected.

RESULTS The mean age of the recruits was 23.2±2.8 years. TST positivity prevalence was 1.4% (52/3,684), and bivariable analysis and backward, stepwise multivariable logistic regression showed that the sociodemographic characteristics did not vary with TST positivity.

CONCLUSIONS The prevalence of TST positivity among Greek male army recruits is very low (1.4%). The percentage of TST positivity has continued to decrease in Greece over the last 30 years in spite of a surge of immigrants from countries with high TB infection rates.

Key words: BMI, Education, Greek male recruits, Place of residence, Tuberculin skin test.

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