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Free Content Risk of tuberculosis in public transport sector workers, Lima, Peru

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SETTING: Delays from symptom onset to the diagnosis and treatment of smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) produces possible new cases in persons in close contact with TB cases, especially in confined spaces such as overcrowded public transport, which puts other users and transport workers at risk.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate TB incidence rates in patients of a health micro-network, and the percentage of transport sector workers among TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) patients.

DESIGN: Crude and indirect standardised incidence rates of TB were calculated from an exhaustive analysis of all clinical histories of incident patients in a health micro-network between 1 January 2007 and 30 June 2008. The percentage of transport sector workers and the association between MDR-TB and working in the transport sector were analysed.

RESULTS: Standardised incidence rates for transport sector workers are 2.7–4.5 times higher than those in the total working-age male and global population of the micro-network studied. The association between TB and transport occupation and MDR-TB and transport occupation is high (respectively OR 3.06, 95%CI 2.2–4.2 and OR 3.14, 95%CI 1.1–9.1).

CONCLUSION: These results indicate that the use of informal public transport is a risk factor for TB infection and an occupational risk in countries with characteristics similar to those in Peru.
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Keywords: occupational risk; public transport; pulmonary tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Grups de Recerca d'America i Africa Llatines (GRAAL), Unidad de Bioestadística, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain 2: P S San Antonio, Dirección de Salud IV Lima Este, Lima, Peru 3: Grupo GRAAL, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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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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