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09.12.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2016

International Journal of Public Health 5/2016

School life expectancy and risk for tuberculosis in Europe

International Journal of Public Health > Ausgabe 5/2016
Kazuyo Machiyama, Jan C. Semenza, R. J. Silverwood, Melissa J. Palmer, Tek-Ang Lim, Davide Manissero, Andreas Sandgren, George B. Ploubidis
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s00038-015-0768-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



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.


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.


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.


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.

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 30 kb)
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