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Free Content Mortality among tuberculosis patients on treatment in Singapore

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OBJECTIVE: To identify the risk factors associated with mortality among tuberculosis (TB) patients on treatment in Singapore.

DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study of 7433 TB patients notified and started on TB treatment from 2000 to 2006 was conducted. Cox regression analysis was used to determine independent risk factors for mortality.

RESULTS: Of 7433 patients who started TB treatment between 2000 and 2006, there were 884 deaths (11.9%) from any cause. Older age, male sex, being in a long-term care facility, having comorbidity, absence of cough, more than one site of TB, bacteriologically confirmed laboratory results, resistance to at least isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RMP) and absence of cavity were strongly associated with all-cause mortality among TB patients. A total of 203 patients (2.7%) died of TB. Risk factors for death due to TB were older age, male sex, Malay ethnicity, being in a long-term care facility, absence of cough, more than one site of TB, bacteriologically confirmed laboratory results and resistance to at least INH and RMP or to at least INH but not RMP.

CONCLUSION: It is important to identify TB patients with risk factors related to mortality so that appropriate and timely interventions can be instituted to prevent deaths among TB patients.
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Keywords: mortality; risk factor; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Health Services Research and Evaluation Division, Ministry of Health, Singapore 2: Communicable Diseases Division, Ministry of Health, Singapore 3: Singapore Tuberculosis Control Unit, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore 4: Health Services Group, Ministry of Health, Singapore

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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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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