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School life expectancy and risk for tuberculosis in Europe


  • Kazuyo Machiyama

    (Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

  • Jan C. Semenza

    () (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC))

  • R. J. Silverwood

    (Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

  • Melissa J. Palmer

    (Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

  • Tek-Ang Lim

    (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC))

  • Davide Manissero

    (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC))

  • Andreas Sandgren

    (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC))

  • George B. Ploubidis

    (University College London)


Abstract Objective This study aims to investigate the effect of country-level school life expectancy on Tuberculosis (TB) incidence to gain further understanding of substantial variation in TB incidence across Europe. Methods An ecological study examined the prospective association between baseline country-level education in 2000 measured by school life expectancy and TB incidence in 2000–2010 in 40 countries of the WHO European region using quantile regression. Subsequently, to validate the ecological associations between education and TB incidence, an individual-level analysis was performed using case-based data in 29 EU/EEA countries from the European Surveillance System (TESSy) and simulating a theoretical control group. Results The ecological analysis showed that baseline school life expectancy had a negative prospective association with TB incidence. We observed consistent negative effects of school life expectancy on individuals’ TB infections prospectively. Conclusions These findings suggests that country-level education is an important determinant of individual-level TB infection in the region, and in the absence of a social determinants indicator that is routinely collected for reportable infectious diseases, the adoption of country-level education for reportable infectious diseases would significantly advance the field.

Suggested Citation

  • Kazuyo Machiyama & Jan C. Semenza & R. J. Silverwood & Melissa J. Palmer & Tek-Ang Lim & Davide Manissero & Andreas Sandgren & George B. Ploubidis, 2016. "School life expectancy and risk for tuberculosis in Europe," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(5), pages 603-611, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ijphth:v:61:y:2016:i:5:d:10.1007_s00038-015-0768-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s00038-015-0768-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David P. Baker & Juan Leon & Emily G. Smith Greenaway & John Collins & Marcela Movit, 2011. "The Education Effect on Population Health: A Reassessment," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 37(2), pages 307-332, June.
    2. Grossman, Michael, 2006. "Education and Nonmarket Outcomes," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2007.120329_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Petter Lundborg, 0000. "The Health Returns to Education - What can we learn from Twins?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-027/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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