Background: Development of tuberculosis (TB) is determined by various risk factors and the interactions of temporal and spatial distributions. The aim of this study was to identify the most salient risk factors for TB disease as well as multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB) at the oblast (provincial) level in Kazakhstan.
Methods: Correlational and descriptive analyses were conducted at the oblast and national level using data provided by the country’s National Institute of Geography (NIG) and the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP). Reported incident case notification rates (CNRs) and prevalence vary by oblast, thus the study investigated which determinants contributed to this regional variation and compared burdens among oblasts.
Results: The results showed that while tuberculosis CNRs decreased over the study period, MDR-TB conversely increased. Two oblasts -Atyrauskaya and Mangystauskaya - presented especially significant anomalies with large
decreases in TB incident CNRs coupled with comparatively large increases in MDR-TB incident CNRs.
Conclusion: Understanding the distribution of TB and MDR-TB cases and associated risk factors, especially the “unknown risk factor” categorization points to the need for future research.