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Open Access Alcohol consumption and risk of tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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OBJECTIVE: To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between alcohol consumption and risk of tuberculosis (TB).

METHODS: Medline, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched for observational studies from 2005 to April 2018. Reference lists of included studies were screened.

RESULTS: Forty-nine studies were included. Compared with people with low or no alcohol intake, the risk of TB in people with high or any alcohol consumption was increased by relative odds of 1.90 (95%CI 1.63–2.23). Substantial levels of heterogeneity were seen (I 2 = 82%); however, there was no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.54). Sensitivity analysis restricted to studies using no alcohol drinking as a reference group found a slightly lower but still increased risk (OR 1.60, 95%CI 1.39–1.84). Subgroup analyses revealed no significant differences in relation to study design and quality, geographic location, publication year or adjustment for confounders. A pooled analysis of a further four studies reporting hazard ratios (HRs) found a nearly three-fold increase in risk of TB in relation to alcohol consumption during follow-up (HR 2.81, 95%CI 2.12–3.74). An exposure-response analysis showed that for every 10–20 g daily alcohol intake, there was a 12% increase in TB risk.

CONCLUSION: Alcohol consumption is an important risk factor for the development of TB.
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Keywords: TB; alcohol; meta-analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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 lung health world-wide.

    To share scientific research of immediate concern as rapidly as possible, The Union is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles from the IJTLD and publishing them on The Union website, prior to their publication in the Journal. Read fast-track articles.

    Certain IJTLD articles are also selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. These are available on the Union website.

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