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Free Content Risk of tuberculosis in dialysis patients: a population-based study

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SETTING: Provincial tuberculosis (TB) and dialysis registries.

OBJECTIVE: To document the risk of TB among patients on dialysis and to describe the clinical characteristics of these cases.

METHODS: All cases of TB occurring among dialysis patients in British Columbia between January 1990 and December 1994 were reviewed, as were the age-specific rates for TB among the general population during the same period.

RESULTS: During that period, a total of seven cases of TB occurred among 560 patients on hemo-dialysis and two cases among 326 patients on peritoneal dialysis. On an annual basis the rate of TB in the dialysis population was 253 per 100000, compared to an age-matched rate of 10.1 per 100000 in the general population, giving a relative risk of 25.3 (95% confidence interval 22.86–31.49, P = 0.0000001).

CONCLUSIONS: The risk of TB in dialysis patients is significantly higher than previously reported from non population-based studies, indicating that dialysis patients should be considered a possible target population for systematic evaluation for the presence of TB infection and consideration for chemoprophylaxis.
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Keywords: dialysis; renal patients; risk factors; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Division of TB Control, BC Center for Disease Control and Departement of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Publication date: 1998-12-01

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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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