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Free Content Incidence of tuberculosis and the importance of treatment of latent tuberculosis infection in a Spanish prison population

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OBJECTIVE: To establish the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in a prison population and its link with latent tuberculosis infection treatment (LTIT).

METHODS: From 1991 to 1999 a TB programme was run in a Spanish prison. A cohort study was conducted to know TB incidence and the associated variables.

RESULTS: Of 1050 people studied, 10% were co-infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Twenty-three cases of TB were detected, an incidence rate of 6.39 per 1000 person-years of follow-up. Multivariate analysis showed HIV-infected patients (RR 4.07, 95%CI 2.61–6.35), and those infected by M. tuberculosis who did not undergo LTIT (RR 10.15, 95%CI 0.90–50.59) to be at greater risk of developing TB. In TST reactors, those co-infected with HIV (RR 10.15, 95%CI 3.80–27.07) and those who had not undergone LTIT (RR 8.53, 95%CI 1.12–64.86) were shown to be at the greatest risk of developing TB.

CONCLUSIONS: The observed incidence of TB is much higher in prisons than in the community at large. HIV-M. tuberculosis co-infection appears as the main risk factor for developing TB, while LTIT significantly reduces incidence.

Keywords: HIV; latent tuberculosis infection treatment; prison; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Medical Service, Penitentiary Centre, León, Spain 2: Department of Internal Medicine II, Hospital of León, León, Spain 3: Epidemiology Service, Municipal Institute of Public Health, Barcelona, Spain 4: Chest Clinic, León, Spain 5: Microbiology Department, Hospital Monte San Isidro, León, Spain

Publication date: 2001-10-01

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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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