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Free Content Pulmonary tuberculosis in young Korean soldiers: incidence, drug resistance and treatment outcomes

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence and treatment outcomes of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) in young soldiers of South Korea.

DESIGN: From 2000 to 2004, all soldiers with a new diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) were enrolled in the study, based on the official records of the Armed Forces Medical Command. The demographic and clinical data of the cases were evaluated retrospectively.

RESULTS: A total of 3115 TB cases were reported during the study period, of whom 2071 (66.5%) were reported as PTB. The annual incidence rates of PTB were 96.4 per 100000 population in 2000, 89.3 in 2001, 67.6 in 2002, 60.2 in 2003, and 63.1 in 2004. A total of 270 patients diagnosed and treated at the Armed Forces Capital Hospital were analysed. Of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates, 87.4% were susceptible to all available anti-tuberculosis drugs; 253 (93.7%) patients eventually completed initial anti-tuberculosis treatment. Among the patients with smear-positive PTB, the cure rate was 89.3% (100/112).

CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that the incidence of PTB in Korean soldiers, although still high, was declining steadily. With good case management, the overall success rate of initial treatment was approximately 90%.

Keywords: incidence; military personnel; treatment outcome; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine, Armed Forces Capital Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea 2: Department of Health, Ministry of National Defence, Seoul, Republic of Korea 3: Department of Preventive Medicine, Armed Forces Medical Command, Seoul, Republic of Korea 4: Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Koreas

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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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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