Mortality among tuberculosis patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo
OBJECTIVE: To identify programmatic interventions for improved survival in patients receiving treatment for tuberculosis (TB) at primary care clinics.
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort of adult patients initiating anti-tuberculosis treatment between January 2006 and May 2007.
RESULTS: Among 5685 patients, 390 deaths occurred during anti-tuberculosis treatment, of which half (52%) did so during the first 2 months. Patients with smear-negative pulmonary TB were at greater risk of death in the first 2 months of treatment (human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] positive HR 1.49, 95%CI 0.89–2.49; HIV-negative HR 1.77 95%CI 1.06–2.95), but not thereafter. Patients with extra-pulmonary TB were at increased risk of death in the first 2 months of anti-tuberculosis treatment if they were non-HIV-infected (HR 2.42, 95%CI 1.52–3.85), and were half as likely to die during the remainder of treatment (HIV-positive HR 0.46, 95%CI 0.22–0.97; HIV-negative HR 0.47, 95%CI 0.23–0.94). Antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduced the risk of death by an estimated 36% (HR 0.64, 95%CI 0.37–1.11).
CONCLUSION: High mortality in the first months of anti-tuberculosis treatment could be reduced by addressing diagnostic delays, particularly for extra-pulmonary and smear-negative TB cases and, in HIV-infected patients, by initiation of ART soon after starting anti-tuberculosis treatment.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Epidemiology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA 2: School of Public Health, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo 3: National Tuberculosis Programme, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Publication date: 01 September 2012
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