Tuberculosis

TuberculosisWith the advent of effective chemotherapy and surveillance techniques, the total number of cases and resultant mortality from tuberculosis decreased steadily until the early 1970s, but has not changed appreciably since that time; however, tuberculosis still causes approximately 2,000 deaths per year in the United States, making it the leading cause of death among 38 communicable diseases for which data on mortality are reported to the Center for Disease Control. In 1980, deaths from tuberculosis exceeded the combined total for the other 37 communicable diseases. The mortality in patients with tuberculosis continues to cause concern, but there has been little systematic evaluation of the actual cause of death in these patients. Hence, we have assessed the cause of death in 41 consecutive patients dying with active tuberculosis at the San Antonio State Chest Hospital.