Tuberculosis (TB) incidence has been in steady decline in China over the last few decades. However, ongoing demographic transition, fueled by aging, and massive internal migration could have important implications for TB control in the future. We collated data on TB notification, demography, and drug resistance between 2004 and 2017 across seven cities in Shandong, the second most populous province in China. Using these data, and age-period-cohort models, we (i) quantified heterogeneities in TB incidence across cities, by age, sex, resident status, and occupation and (ii) projected future trends in TB incidence, including drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). Between 2006 and 2017, we observed (i) substantial variability in the rates of annual change in TB incidence across cities, from -4.84 to 1.52%; (ii) heterogeneities in the increments in the proportion of patients over 60 among reported TB cases differs from 2 to 13%, and from 0 to 17% for women; (iii) huge differences across cities in the annual growths in TB notification rates among migrant population between 2007 and 2017, from 2.81 cases per 100K migrants per year in Jinan to 22.11 cases per 100K migrants per year in Liaocheng, with drastically increasing burden of TB cases from farmers; and (iv) moderate and stable increase in the notification rates of DR-TB in the province. All of these trends were projected to continue over the next decade, increasing heterogeneities in TB incidence across cities and between populations. To sustain declines in TB incidence and to prevent an increase in Multiple DR-TB (MDR-TB) in the future in China, future TB control strategies may (i) need to be tailored to local demography, (ii) prioritize key populations, such as elderly and internal migrants, and (iii) enhance DR-TB surveillance.
- age-period-cohort model
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