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Free Content Risk of tuberculosis during pregnancy in Mongolia, a high incidence setting with low HIV prevalence

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the epidemiology and the relative risk of tuberculosis (TB) in pregnant women in Mongolia, a high TB incidence setting with a low rate of human immunodeficiency virus co-infection, where active case finding for TB in pregnancy is implemented.

DESIGN: We retrospectively collected data on pregnant women diagnosed with TB during 2013. Data were collected through doctors at central TB dispensaries who extracted the relevant information from patients' clinical records.

RESULTS: The overall incidence of TB among pregnant women was 228 (95%CI 187–276) per 100 000 person-years, resulting in an incidence rate ratio of 1.31 (95%CI 1.08–1.59) in pregnant women compared to the general population. Twelve per cent of the pregnant women with TB chose to have an abortion.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, pregnant women had a 1.3-fold higher risk of developing TB than the general population. Based on a moderately increased risk of TB during pregnancy in our study and the potential for adverse health outcomes, TB screening among pregnant women can currently be justified, but the cost-effectiveness of this intervention remains unclear. Patients and doctors need to be educated about the safety of standard TB treatment in pregnancy to reduce the rate of abortions.
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Keywords: Mongolia; incidence; pregnancy; risk; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Tuberculosis Programme of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 2: Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 3: Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; South Western Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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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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