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Free Content Acceptance of isoniazid preventive treatment by close contacts of tuberculosis cases: a 692-subject Italian study

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Setting: Villa Marelli Institute, Lombardy Regional Reference Centre for Tuberculosis.

Objective: To evaluate acceptance of and adherence to isoniazid preventive treatment (IPT) of close contacts of contagious tuberculosis (TB) cases (CC); comparison of Italian and immigrant patients.

Methods: A retrospective study of a consecutive series of 692 subjects (474 Italians and 218 immigrants from developing countries) exposed to contagious TB cases, who were offered IPT after tuberculin skin testing and chest X-ray, according to the Lombardy Regional Protocol for TB control.

Results: Of 692 CCs, 36 (5.2%) subjects refused IPT, 522 (75.5%) completed the treatment as prescribed, 23 (3.3%) suspended IPT because of adverse effects, 14 (2.0%) spontaneously discontinued IPT against our advice, 93 (13.4%) were lost to follow up, and seven (0.6%) were still in treatment when the present data were evaluated. Italian CCs had a completion rate significantly higher than the immigrants (81.0% vs 63.3%, P < 0.01).

Conclusion: The rate of acceptance and completion of IPT in our population proved higher than many previously reported data, and the better results among Italian subjects reflect the importance of a complete comprehension of IPT that may not always be achieved with immigrant patients.

Keywords: Italy; acceptance; immigrants; isoniazid; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Villa Marelli Institute for Chest Disease/TB Unit, Lombardy Regional Reference Centre for Tuberculosis, Milan, Italy

Publication date: 1998-03-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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