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Free Content Two-year follow-up of directly-observed intermittent regimens for smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis in China

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Setting: The tuberculosis component of the Infectious and Endemic Disease Control Project in the People's Republic of China is the largest single tuberculosis control project in the world using directly-observed therapy and standardized intermittent regimens.

Objective: To determine the two-year relapse and mortality rates following completion of treatment.

Design: A prospective cohort study of 649 cases cured in this project. The 306 new and 343 retreatment cases were treated under field conditions with 2H3R3Z3S3/4H3R3 and 2H3R3Z3E3S3/6H3R3E3, respectively. Following treatment completion, two sputum samples were collected every six months for two years and examined for acid-fast bacilli. Causes of death were identified.

Results: The two-year relapse rates for new and retreatment cases were 3.3% and 5.6%, respectively. Retreatment cases with delayed sputum conversion had a greater risk for subsequent relapse. The two-year mortality rate for new and retreatment cases was 3.3% and 8.5%, respectively. The higher mortality rate in retreatment cases was not attributable to relapse of disease, but rather to non-infectious sequelae of tuberculosis.

Conclusion: The use of directly-observed intermittent regimens is effective in permanently removing infectious tuberculosis cases from the community.

Keywords: directly-observed therapy; mortality; relapse; treat; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: The Anti-Tuberculosis Institute of Hebei Province, Hebei, People's Republic of China 2: San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA

Publication date: May 1, 1998

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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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