Women and Tuberculosis: Taking a look at a neglected issue
Tuberculosis (TB), an airborne infectious disease, is the third leading cause of death for women worldwide.Women experience different risk factors, social and economic consequences, and barriers to treatment than men. Yet little has been done to address the biological differences and gender disparities that present a unique challenge to the diagnosis and treatment of TB in women. In 2008, 3.6 million women developed TB2 and approximately another 500,000 died as a result.3 TB affects women mainly during their economically and reproductively active years, causing a substantial burden on children and families. Immediate action is needed to address the suffering TB causes and to eliminate the disease as a leading killer of women.