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Free Content Association of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis with age, sex and season differs depending on the affected organ

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SETTING: Data from tuberculosis (TB) cases in Germany who are continuously monitored for the purposes of epidemiological surveillance and disease control.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the distribution of age, sex, place of birth, seasonality and recurrence of TB disease in different types of TB organ manifestations, with particular focus on lymph nodes and pleura.

DESIGN: All TB cases reported to the Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs (LAGeSo) in Berlin, Germany, between 2001 and 2012 were analysed.

RESULTS: Significant differences with regard to seasonal variation as well as age and sex distribution were seen when comparing pleural TB and TB of the extrathoracic lymph nodes, the predominant types of extra-pulmonary TB. EPTB was generally more prevalent in patients born outside Europe. In contrast to a previous study, an increase in recurrent TB was not observed in EPTB when compared to pulmonary TB cases.

CONCLUSION: Significant differences in TB organ manifestation in association with season, sex and age suggest different pathophysiological mechanisms of disease development. Future studies might provide further insight into the mechanism of TB development and may therefore be of help in the prevention and treatment of EPTB.
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Keywords: epidemiology; extra-pulmonary TB; risk factors for TB; seasonal variation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Stroke Research Berlin, Berlin, Germany 2: Unit for Regional Health Care Analyses & Health Care Atlas, Central Research Institute of Ambulatory Health Care in Germany, Berlin, Germany; Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs, Berlin, Germany 3: Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs, Berlin, Germany

Publication date: June 1, 2015

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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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