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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


OLMOS, Claudio  y  STUARDO, Valeria. Distribution of COVID-19 and tuberculosis in the Metropolitan Region of Chile: differents diseases, similar inequalities. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2020, vol.148, n.7, pp.963-969. ISSN 0034-9887.


Poor living conditions promote the spread of communicable diseases. It happened with Tuberculosis (TB) and is happening with COVID-19. Due to its dynamic nature, this group of diseases must be studied in the context of the social determinants of health.


To describe the epidemiological behavior of COVID-19 in response to the control strategies implemented by the Chilean Ministry of Health and its similarities with the socio-economic distribution of TB in the Metropolitan Region (MR) of Chile.

Material and Methods:

The 2018 Tuberculosis rates and average income of districts belonging to the MR were described, as well as the incidence rates of COVID-19. A Pearson correlation analysis was applied between the rates of both diseases, to assess similarities in the epidemiological distribution patterns.


The RM accounts for over 50% of the total national cases of COVID-19. After the implementation of selective quarantines, only four districts in the RM managed to control the outbreak (those with the highest incomes). In the rest, a clear increase in cases was observed. The districts with the highest increase in cases were the most disadvantaged, and those with the highest TB rates during 2018, with a correlation coefficient of 0.6.


Control policies cannot deepen health inequalities. If vulnerable groups, as well as the factors that determine their health, are not properly identified, the consequences of the current pandemic could be even more devastating.

Palabras clave : Coronavirus; Epidemiology; Social Determinants of Health; Tuberculosis.

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