Occurrence of tuberculosis in older adults

For the elderly, strengthening the immune system is one way of protecting against the disease. However, it is a disease that the elderly is susceptible to. People suffering from cancer, HIV, diabetes or end-stage renal failure are among those who can easily catch TB because of a weak immune system, she said. In older people, the immune system undergoes a gradual weakening with age, a condition known as immunosenescence. They also tend not to be as fit and healthy as younger people, especially if they are living alone. Fatalities can occur if the disease is not caught early.
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Does tuberculosis threaten our ageing populations?

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Tuberculosis and Aging: A Global Health Problem | Clinical Infectious Diseases | Oxford Academic

Tuberculosis in aging adults remains a clinical and epidemiological challenge. Atypical clinical manifestations of tuberculosis in older persons can result in delay in diagnosis and initiation of treatment; thus, unfortunately, higher rates of morbidity and mortality from this treatable infection can occur. Underlying illnesses, age-related diminution in immune function, the increased frequency of adverse drug reactions, and institutionalization can complicate the overall clinical approach to tuberculosis in elderly patients; maintenance of a high index of suspicion for tuberculosis in this vulnerable population is, thus, undoubtedly justifiable. Tuberculosis remains a rampant infectious disease of global importance. The epidemiology of tuberculosis in developing and developed nations differs considerably [ 1 ]. The geriatric population in developed countries, such as the United States, represents a large reservoir of tuberculosis infection across all ethnic and sex subsets.
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Tuberculosis in Older Adults.

Metrics details. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the differences in clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes between older and younger tuberculosis TB patients in Korea. Dyspnea and comorbid medical conditions were more frequent and positive TB culture rates were higher in older TB patients.
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Metrics details. The global population is ageing quickly and our understanding of age-related changes in the immune system suggest that the elderly will have less immunological protection from active tuberculosis TB. Ongoing global surveillance of TB notifications shows increasing age of patients with active TB.
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