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Free Content Tobacco and tuberculosis: a qualitative systematic review and meta-analysis [Review Article]

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: To assess the strength of evidence in published articles for an association between smoking and passive exposure to tobacco smoke and various manifestations and outcomes of tuberculosis (TB). Clinicians and public health workers working to fight TB may not see a role for themselves in tobacco control because the association between tobacco and TB has not been widely accepted. A qualitative review and meta-analysis was therefore undertaken.

METHODS: Reference lists, PubMed, the database of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and Google Scholar were searched for a final inclusion of 42 articles in English containing 53 outcomes for data extraction. A quality score was attributed to each study to classify the strength of evidence according to each TB outcome. A meta-analysis was then performed on results from included studies.

RESULTS: Despite the limitations in the data available, the evidence was rated as strong for an association between smoking and TB disease, moderate for the association between second-hand smoke exposure and TB disease and between smoking and retreatment TB disease, and limited for the association between smoking and tuberculous infection and between smoking and TB mortality. There was insufficient evidence to support an association of smoking and delay, default, slower smear conversion, greater severity of disease or drug-resistant TB or of second-hand tobacco smoke exposure and infection.

CONCLUSIONS: The association between smoking and TB disease appears to be causal. Smoking can have an important impact on many aspects of TB. Clinicians can confidently advise patients that quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to others' tobacco smoke are important measures in TB control.

Keywords: risk factors; second-hand smoke; smoking; tuberculosis

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France 2: The University of Michigan/University of North Carolina, Hillsborough, North Carolina, USA 3: University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 4: Healis Institute, New Delhi, India

Publication date: October 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • 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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