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Free Content Comparative study of the profiles of tribal and non-tribal tuberculosis patients in a tuberculosis unit of West Bengal, India

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BACKGROUND: Worldwide, the burden of tuberculosis (TB) is high in tribal populations.

SETTING: Department of Community Medicine, Burdwan Medical College, Burdwan, India.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the profile of TB patients among tribals and non-tribals in the Bhatar Tuberculosis Unit, Burdwan, India.

DESIGN: A record-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 599 TB cases in 2009.

RESULTS: Respectively 34.7% and 65.3% of the cases were tribals and non-tribals. Among tribal patients, 92.3% had pulmonary TB vs. 82.1% among non-tribals. The proportion of Category I cases (77.4%) was higher among tribals than among non-tribals (60.8%), while the proportion of Category II and III cases was higher among non-tribals. Among new sputum-positive Category I cases, the sputum conversion rate at the end of the intensive phase was respectively 92.4% and 87.7% in tribals and non-tribals. Unfavourable treatment outcome was higher in males and among failure, relapse, treatment after default and transferred out cases.

CONCLUSIONS: Differences were noted in type/category of cases, sputum conversion as well as in outcome between tribal and non-tribal TB patients. Although ethnicity by itself was not significantly associated with outcome, factors related to ethnicity might have contributed to these differences between tribals and non-tribals.

Keywords: sputum conversion; treatment outcome; tuberculosis among non-tribals; tuberculosis among tribals

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Community Medicine, Burdwan Medical College & Hospital, Burdwan, India 2: Department of Community Medicine, North Bengal Medical College & Hospital, Siliguri, India 3: Diamond Harbour SD Hospital, Diamond Harbour, India

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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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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