Latent Tuberculosis Infection Testing Practices in Long-Term Care Facilities, Boston, Massachusetts

Divya Reddy, Jacob Walker, Laura F. White, Gary H. Brandeis, Matthew L. Russell, Charles R. Horsburgh, Natasha S. Hochberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) testing practices in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Three Boston-area LTCFs. Participants: Residents admitted between January 1 and December 31, 2011. Measurements: Resident demographic characteristics, comorbidities, LTCF stay, and LTBI testing and treatment. Results: Data for 291 LTCF residents admitted in 2011 were reviewed. Of the 257 without a history of LTBI and with documentation of testing, 162 (63%) were tested; 114 of 186 (61%) with a stay less than 90 days and 48 of 71 (68%) with a stay of 90 days or longer were tested. Of 196 residents with data on prior LTBI testing, 39 (19.9%) had LTBI; 12 of these (30.8%) were diagnosed at the LTCF. Hispanic participants were more likely than black participants to undergo LTBI testing (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.4, P =.003). Having a length of stay of less than 90 days (aOR = 0.7, P <.001) and history of illicit drug use (aOR = 0.7, P <.001) were associated with lower odds of LTBI testing. Conclusion: One-fifth of LTCF residents had LTBI, but testing was not always performed. The high prevalence of LTBI in older adults combined with the risk of an outbreak if a case of tuberculosis occurs in a LTCF make LTBI testing and treatment an important prevention opportunity. The importance of LTBI testing in LTCFs needs to be reinforced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1145-1151
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • elderly
  • latent tuberculosis
  • long-term care facilities
  • nursing homes
  • testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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