Data on tuberculosis (TB) cases reported to the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control are now available on TB EpiQuery. EpiQuery is an interactive, user-friendly system designed to guide users through basic data analyses.
In New York City, reporting of confirmed and suspected cases of TB to the Health Department is mandated by the New York City Health Code and New York State Public Health Laws. Reports are received from health care providers and clinical laboratories throughout the city. The data received are tracked and analyzed for public health and programmatic purposes.
The data in EpiQuery include all cases of TB reported and confirmed in New York City beginning in 2001. Reported cases and case rates (per 100,000 population) are available by select demographic (age group, sex, race/ethnicity) and geographic (citywide, borough, neighborhood) characteristics. On a citywide level, select characteristics that are important to the epidemiology of TB are also available. These include country of birth and HIV co-infection data. EpiQuery data represent the most recent data available and may differ from information reported elsewhere due to updated case counts and the use of different population denominators. For official annual TB case counts, please see the Bureau of TB Control Annual Reports.
TB case rates for all patients, or by sex, age, and/or race/ethnicity are calculated using the NYC Health Department's population estimates, modified from US Census Bureau intercensal population estimates. Population estimates are updated as new data become available, therefore rates may differ from previously reported rates based on earlier versions of population estimates.
Rate calculations by country of birth use the US Census Bureau American Community Survey one-year population estimates.
Case rates for the most recent year of data use the previous year's population estimates until the current year's estimates become available; a note on the EpiQuery page indicates where the previous year's population was used in calculating case rates.
Race/Ethnicity: This variable is derived from self-identified data collected on race and ethnicity for each patient. Any person who reports Hispanic ethnicity is categorized as Hispanic, regardless of race. Those of other or unknown ethnicity are then classified by race as non-Hispanic Asian, non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, or non-Hispanic Other/Unknown race. Any person of non-Hispanic ethnicity who self-identified as multiple races is categorized as non-Hispanic Other/Unknown race.
Birth in the U.S.: Patients who were born in the 50 states, District of Columbia, or other U.S. territories and outlying areas including American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Island, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palymyra Atoll, Puerto Rico, U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, U.S. Pacific Islands, Virgin Islands, and Wake Island are categorized as US-born. All other patients with known country of birth are considered Foreign-born.
HIV Status: HIV co-infection data represent HIV status information as collected by the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control. Misclassification of HIV status may occur if a patient refused to disclose known status and/or refused to be tested for HIV while under care for TB disease.
Neighborhood: Data are provided at several geographic levels including citywide, by borough and by the 42 United Hospital Fund (UHF) neighborhoods. These neighborhoods consist of adjoining ZIP codes that approximate NYC Community Planning Districts and contain an average of 200,000 individuals.
Neighborhood poverty: Neighborhood-level poverty is calculated using a patient’s ZIP code of residence at the time of TB diagnosis. Poverty categories are based on the percentage of residents in a given ZIP code living below the federal poverty limit (FPL) and have been adapted for NYC from the Public Health Disparities Geocoding Project. Neighborhood-level poverty is provided in four categories as follows:
- Low poverty area: <10% of the resident population lives below the FPL
- Medium-poverty area: 10% to <20% of the population lives below the FPL
- High-poverty area: 20% to <30% of the population lives below the FPL
- Very-high poverty area: ≥30% of the population lives below the FPL
Data selection and display
In order to protect the confidentiality of our patients while providing useful and meaningful data, limits on cross-tabulations have been instituted in the TB EpiQuery module.
Single-year analyses: Data analyses can be performed on any one geographic level at a time paired with up to a maximum of two demographic characteristics. Data on birth in the U.S., top five countries of birth, and HIV status can also be viewed; however, these data are only available at the citywide level and cannot be crossed with any demographic variable.
Trend analyses: All geographic levels alone (without cross-tabulations) are available across multiple years. A maximum of one demographic characteristic can be evaluated at a time at the citywide level; trend analyses of demographic characteristics are not available at any other geography. Trend data on any one additional characteristic can also be viewed; however, these data are only available at the citywide level and cannot be crossed with any demographic variable.
Graphical displays: Graphical representations of the data are available where applicable. In order to provide meaningful displays, graphs will not be shown when the number of strata is excessive.
Data export: In order to increase the accessibility of the data, results are available for export to Microsoft Excel.