Singapore is a high-income country in a region with a high prevalence of tuberculosis. The Singapore Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination Program (STEP) was set up in 1997, and the better surveillance and clinical management practices initiated under STEP led to a decade-long decline in the incidence levels. However, incidence rates started to rise again since 2008. The reasons for this rise are unclear. This study involved a spatial analysis of the epidemiology of TB among Singapore residents. More than 30 000 cases reported during 1995–2011 and their residential addresses were analysed for spatial risk and spatial clustering, using spatial point pattern methodology. The principal factor responsible for the increasing resident TB incidence in Singapore is the changing age profile of the population. In particular the burgeoning population aged above 65 years accounts for the increase in reported cases. Singapore’s population has one of the world’s lowest fertility and mortality rates, and the elderly population is projected to grow substantially over the next few decades. Tuberculosis rates may therefore continue to rise even with static or improving case management and surveillance.
Citation: Das, S., Cook, A. R., Wah, W., Win, K. M. K., Chee, C. B. E., Wang, Y. T., & Hsu, L. Y. (2017). Spatial dynamics of TB within a highly urbanised Asian metropolis using point patterns. Scientific reports, 7(1), 1-9.