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Free Content Risk factors for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Hong Kong

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SETTING: Previous anti-tuberculosis treatment is a widely reported risk factor for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), whereas other risk factors are less well described. In Hong Kong, the clinical characteristics of MDR-TB have not been systematically evaluated.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the risk factors for MDR-TB in Hong Kong.

DESIGN: MDR-TB patients treated between 1999 and 2003 were compared with non-MDR-TB patients by stratification of previous anti-tuberculosis treatment.

RESULTS: One hundred and fifty-six MDR-TB patients, including 93 with and 63 without a previous history of anti-tuberculosis treatment, were identified. Among the 322 non-MDR-TB controls, respectively 192 and 130 patients did and did not have a previous history of anti-tuberculosis treatment. Using logistic regression analysis, non-permanent residents (OR 6.85, 95%CI 1.38–34.09), frequent travel (OR 2.48, 95%CI 1.07–5.74) and younger age were found to be independent predictors of MDR-TB in previously treated patients, whereas living on financial assistance just failed to reach statistical significance (OR 2.75, 95%CI 0.98–7.68, P = 0.05). In the treatment-na├»ve group, despite significant differences in baseline characteristics among MDR-TB and non-MDR-TB patients, no independent predictor variables could be identified.

CONCLUSION: In Hong Kong, non-permanent residents, frequent travel and young age were independent predictors of MDR-TB among previously treated patients.

Keywords: Hong Kong; multidrug-resistant; risk factors; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Tuberculosis and Chest Service, Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, Hong Kong, China 2: Tuberculosis and Chest Unit, Grantham Hospital, Hong Kong, China 3: Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory, Public Health Laboratory Centre, Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong SAR, China

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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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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