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Free Content Hospitalizations for tuberculosis in New York City: howmanycould be avoided?

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OBJECTIVE: To determine which factors were associated with hospitalization for tuberculosis (TB) in New York City (NYC), United States, and to estimate the proportion of potentially avoidable admissions.

DESIGN: Patients diagnosed with TB from April to June 2003 were included. Records of hospitalized patients were reviewed to determine whether hospitalization was appropriate. Hospitalization was considered appropriate if patients met ≥1 of the NYC health department hospitalization criteria and/or needed hospitalization per study physicians' judgment. The association of patient characteristics with hospitalization and with having an inappropriate hospitalization was evaluated using multivariate analyses. TB cases from 2008 were also evaluated to determine whether more recent cases had similar associations with hospitalization.

RESULTS: Of 315 patients diagnosed with TB during the study, 226 (72%) were hospitalized. Hospitalized patients were more likely to have a cavitary chest radiograph (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 8.11, 95%CI 1.82–36.20), abuse alcohol/drugs (aOR 6.53, 95%CI 2.06–20.67), be Black non-Hispanic (aOR 3.05, 95%CI 1.00–9.38), have unknown human immunodeficiency virus status (aOR 2.67, 95%CI 1.24–5.76), and to have been first evaluated by a private medical provider (aOR 2.37, 95%CI 1.11–5.08). Eighty-seven (38%) of the hospitalizations may have been inappropriate; foreign-born (aOR 3.16, 95%CI 1.39–7.14) and acid-fast bacilli sputum smear-positive (aOR 2.49, 95%CI 1.18–5.23) patients were more likely to be hospitalized inappropriately.

CONCLUSION: Many TB hospitalizations in NYC may be avoidable. Existing guidelines for diagnosing and managing cases as out-patients need to be put into practice.

Keywords: cost; inappropriate hospitalization; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York, USA 2: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York, USA; and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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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