Table of Contents
Epidemiology Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 841289, 8 pages
Research Article

High Tuberculosis Disease Burden among Indigenous People of the Paraguayan Chaco and Associated Community Characteristics, 2002–2004: An Ecological Study

1School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-2402, USA
2Centro para el Desarrollo de la Investigación Científica, 1255 Asunción, Paraguay
3National Institute of Respiratory and Environmental Diseases (INERAM), Ministry of Health, Asunción, Paraguay

Received 25 June 2015; Accepted 10 November 2015

Academic Editor: Jaume Marrugat

Copyright © 2015 Amanda VanSteelandt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Indigenous populations are generally reported to suffer greater active tuberculosis (TB) disease burden. The objective of this study was to examine ecological associations between cases of active adult and pediatric TB reported from 2002 to 2004 and community characteristics in indigenous communities of the Paraguayan Chaco. Adult and pediatric models were examined by negative binomial and Poisson GLM regression, respectively. Active TB prevalence in indigenous people was eight times higher than the nonindigenous population. Communities with a health post were more than twice as likely to report active adult TB (RR = 2.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.14–3.83], and ). Each additional average year of education in the community was associated with nearly 50% less likelihood of active pediatric TB (RR = 0.53, 95% CI [0.38–0.73], and ). Although nonsignificant, the presence of nonindigenous community members had a strong protective association in both the adult (RR = 0.56, 95% CI [0.30–1.03], and ) and pediatric models (RR = 0.64, 95% CI [0.34–1.14], and ). These results reinforce the importance of increasing epidemiologic surveillance and investigating the social determinants of TB disease among vulnerable indigenous populations.