Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 132406, 7 pages
Research Article

Can Social History Variables Predict Prison Inmates’ Risk for Latent Tuberculosis Infection?

1Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3Tuberculosis Program, Ohio Department of Health, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
4Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD 20892, USA

Received 6 October 2012; Accepted 6 November 2012

Academic Editor: Alexander S. Apt

Copyright © 2012 Tyler E. Weant 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.


Improved screening and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in correctional facilities may improve TB control. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) consists of 32 prisons. Inmates are screened upon entry to ODRC and yearly thereafter. The objective of the study was to determine if social history factors such as tobacco, alcohol, and drug use are significant predictors of LTBI and treatment outcomes. We reviewed the medical charts of inmates and randomly selected age-matched controls at one ODRC facility for 2009. We used a conditional logistic regression to assess associations between selected social history variables and LTBI diagnosis. Eighty-nine inmates with a history of LTBI and 88 controls were identified. No social history variable was a significant predictor of LTBI. Medical comorbidities such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis C were significantly higher in inmates with LTBI. 84% of inmates diagnosed with LTBI had either completed or were on treatment. Annual TB screening may not be cost-effective in all inmate populations. Identification of factors to help target screening populations at risk for TB is critical. Social history variables did not predict LTBI in our inmate population. Additional studies are needed to identify inmates for the targeted TB testing.