FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The incidence and prevalence of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease is increasing in the United States, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Kevin L. Winthrop, M.D., M.P.H., from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues used a national managed care claims database to estimate the yearly incidence and prevalence of administrative claims-based NTM lung disease between 2008 and 2015.

The researchers found that the annual incidence of NTM lung disease increased from 3.13 to 4.73 per 100,000 person-years, and the annual prevalence increased from 6.78 to 11.70 per 100,000 persons. The average annual change in incidence was +5.2 percent, while the average annual change in prevalence was +7.5 percent. For women, there were increases in the annual incidence (from 4.16 to 6.69 per 100,000 person-years) and annual prevalence (9.63 to 16.78 per 100,000 persons). For individuals aged 65 years or older, increases were seen in the annual incidence (from 12.70 to 18.37 per 100,000 person-years) and annual prevalence (from 30.27 to 47.48 per 100,000 persons). In most U.S. states and overall at the national level, there was an increase in the incidence and prevalence of NTM lung disease.

“There are likely multiple reasons for these increases,” Winthrop said in a statement. “The number of people at risk is increasing because the population is aging and more people are living with chronic lung diseases.”

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