Deaths related to nontuberculous mycobacterial infections in the United States, 1999-2014

Christopher Vinnard, Sarah Longworth, Alyssa Mezochow, Amee Patrawalla, Barry N. Kreiswirth, Keith Hamilton

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41 Scopus citations


Rationale: Unlike tuberculosis, nontuberculous mycobacterial disease is not reportable to public health authorities in the United States, and the total burden of disease is uncertain. Objectives: To estimate the mortality of nontuberculous mycobacterial disease in the United States over a 15-year period and to identify temporal trends. Methods: The U.S. Multiple Cause of Death Files from 1999 through 2014 were searched for a listing of nontuberculous mycobacterial disease by International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision code as either the underlying or a contributing cause of death. Characteristics of individuals with nontuberculous mycobacteria-related deaths in the United States were summarized according to demographic characteristics. Age-adjusted mortality rates and rate ratios were calculated using bridged-race population estimates of U.S. census population data. Time trends were evaluated with negative binomial regression. Measurements and Main Results: There was a significant increase in nontuberculous mycobacteria-related deaths among individuals without a diagnosis of HIV infection (P = 0.004). Mortality rates increased with advancing age. Age-adjusted mortality rate ratios were lower for men (risk ratio [RR], 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80-0.87) compared with women, and were lower for Hispanic individuals (RR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.49-0.56) and black, non-Hispanic persons (RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.77-0.88) compared with white, non-Hispanic individuals. Conclusions: The mortality rate of nontuberculous mycobacterial disease among HIV-uninfected individuals has increased in the United States between 1999 and 2014. These deaths occurred disproportionately in older white women. Considering the concurrent decline in tuberculosis-related deaths, these findings demonstrate a shift in the epidemiology of fatal mycobacterial infections in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1951-1955
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


  • Epidemiology
  • Mortality
  • Nontuberculous mycobacteria


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