Tuberculosis in Poland in 2021
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National Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Research Institute, Warsaw, Poland
Online publication date: 2024-04-09
Publication date: 2024-05-20
Corresponding author
Maria Korzeniewska- Koseła   

National Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Research Institute, Department of Tuberculosis Epidemiology and Surveillance 26 Płocka Street, 01-138 Warsaw, Poland Tel. +48224312123 e-mail:
Przegl Epidemiol 2023;77(4):449-465
AIM OF THE STUDY. To evaluate the main features of epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) in 2021 in Poland and to compare with the situation in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries. MATERIAL AND METHODS. Analysis of case-based data on TB patients from National TB Register, data on anti-TB drug susceptibility in cases notified in 2021, data from Statistics Poland on deaths from tuberculosis in 2020, data from National Institute of Public Health NIH – National Research Institute (NIPH NIH – NRI) on HIV-positive subjects for whom TB was an AIDS-defining disease, data from the report „European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, WHO Regional Office for Europe. Tuberculosis surveillance and monitoring in Europe 2022 – 2021 data. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe and Stockholm: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control; 2022.” RESULTS. In 2021, 3704 TB cases were reported in Poland. The incidence rate was 9.7 cases per 100,000 with large variability between voivodeships from 5.4 to 12.6 per 100,000. A decrease in the incidence with respect to 2020 was found in 8 voivodeships, the most significant in lubuskie voivodship (42.6%). The number of all pulmonary tuberculosis cases was 3,553 i.e. 9.3 per 100,000. Pulmonary cases represented 95.9% of all TB cases. In 2021, 151 extrapulmonary TB cases were notified (4.1% of all TB cases). Pulmonary tuberculosis was bacteriologically confirmed in 2,970 cases (83.6% of all pulmonary TB cases, the incidence rate 7.8 per 100,000). The number of smear-positive pulmonary TB cases was 2,085 i.e. 5.5 per 100,000 (58.7% of all pulmonary TB cases). In 2021, there were 54 cases (25 of foreign origin) with multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB) representing 1.9% of cases with known drug sensitivity. The incidence rates of tuberculosis were growing along with the age group from 0.6 per 100,000 among children (0-14 years) to 15.8 per 100,000 among subjects in the age group 45-64 years, the incidence rate in the age group ≥65 years was 11.7 per 100,000. There were 37 cases in children up to 14 years of age (1.0% of the total) and 51 cases in adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age – rates 0.6 and 2.8 per 100,000 respectively. In 2021, there were 2,690 cases of tuberculosis in men and 1,014 in women. The TB incidence in men – 14.6 per 100,000 was almost 3.0 times higher than among women – 5.1. The biggest difference in the TB incidence between the two sex groups occurred in persons aged 55-59 years, 30.5 vs. 6.6 and in age group 60 to 64 years, 26.0 vs. 5.7. In 2021, there were 132 patients of foreign origin among all cases of tuberculosis in Poland (3.6%). In 2020, TB was the cause of death for 474 people (mortality rate – 1.2 per 100,000). CONCLUSIONS. The incidence of tuberculosis in Poland in 2021 was 10.2% higher than in 2020. The percentage of tuberculosis cases with bacteriological confirmation was 82.6%, higher than the average in EU/EEA countries (72.0%). The percentage of MDR-TB cases was lower than the average in EU/EEA countries (1.9% vs. 3.8%). The highest incidence rates are found in Poland in the older age groups (in EU/EEA countries in people aged 25 to 44). The percentage of children up to 14 years of age among the total number of TB patients was 1.0%, the average in the EU/EEA countries was 3.5%. The incidence of tuberculosis in men was nearly three times higher than in women in Poland. The impact of migration on the epidemiological situation of tuberculosis in Poland in 2021 was smaller than in the EU/EEA countries (in Poland, the percentage of foreigners among all TB patients was 3.6 vs. 33.8% in the EU/EEA).
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