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Free Content Incidence of tuberculosis among health care workers at a private university hospital in South Korea

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Abstract:

SETTING: A private university hospital in South Korea.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) among health care workers (HCWs) employed at a university hospital in South Korea.

DESIGN: The occurrence of TB cases among HCWs over a 6-year period (2001–2006) was reviewed. The prevalence of TB was compared with that of the general population using a prevalence ratio (PR) adjusted by age and sex.

RESULTS: The study involved 8433 people. TB developed in 61 HCWs (0.72%). The prevalence ratio among all HCWs was 1.05 (95%CI 0.80–1.35). In occupational subgroups, the PRs for doctors, nurses and employees in other departments were respectively 0.58 (95%CI 0.30–1.01), 1.81 (95%CI 1.21–2.59) and 0.95 (95% CI 0.58–1.46). For nurses working in TB-related departments, the relative risk of developing TB was 3.4 times higher (95%CI 1.52–8.25) than for employees in other departments (P = 0.005). The PR for nurses working in TB-related department was 5.1 (95%CI 3.23–8.42).

CONCLUSION: Among HCWs, nurses working in TB-related departments were at increased risk of developing TB. This suggests that some TB develops via in-hospital infection.

Keywords: health care workers; hospital-acquired infection; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Centre, Seoul, Korea 2: Department of Infection Control and Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Centre, Seoul, Korea

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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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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