Abstract

This paper presents an exploratory ecological study on tuberculosis in Costa Rica, its geographical inequities, and social determinants. The tuberculosis morbidity and mortality rate, the relative risk of sick, and die by territorial unit are calculated (since 2008 to 2012) and represented cartographically. The spatial pattern of tuberculosis morbidity and mortality was analyzed establishing correlations with socio-economical indexes, such as the human development index, Gini, and a synthetic indicator of environmental quality at household and community levels. The areas with the highest risk of getting sick and dying are found to border and coastal regions; the same happens with the lower socioeconomic status and environmental quality. The article demonstrates that, as socio-economic and environmental conditions in the cantons get worst, the risk of tuberculosis increases.

Keywords: social heterogeneity, tuberculosis, health conditions, human geography, morbidity determinants, mortality determinants, Costa Rica