The profile and treatment outcomes of the older (aged 60 years and above) tuberculosis patients in Tamilnadu, South India

Ananthakrishnan, Ramya ; Kumar, Kaliyaperumal ; Ganesh, Marimuthu ; Kumar, Ajay M. V. ; Krishnan, Nalini ; Swaminathan, Sowmya ; Edginton, Mary ; Arunagiri, K. ; Gupta, Devesh (2013) The profile and treatment outcomes of the older (aged 60 years and above) tuberculosis patients in Tamilnadu, South India PLoS One, 8 (7). Article ID e67288-6 pages. ISSN 1932-6203


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Background: With changing demographic patterns in the context of a high tuberculosis (TB) burden country, like India, there is very little information on the clinical and demographic factors associated with poor treatment outcome in the sub-group of older TB patients. The study aimed to assess the proportion of older TB patients (60 years of age and more), to compare the type of TB and treatment outcomes between older TB patients and other TB patients (less than 60 years of age) and to describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of older TB patients and assess any associations with TB treatment outcomes. Methods: A retrospective cohort study involving a review of records from April to June 2011 in the 12 selected districts of Tamilnadu, India. Demographic, clinical and WHO defined disease classifications and treatment outcomes of all TB patients aged 60 years and above were extracted from TB registers maintained routinely by Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP). Results: Older TB patients accounted for 14% of all TB patients, of whom 47% were new sputum positive. They had 38% higher risk of unfavourable treatment outcomes as compared to all other TB patients (Relative risk (RR)-1.4, 95% CI 1.2–1.6). Among older TB patients, the risk for unfavourable treatment outcomes was higher for those aged 70 years and more (RR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2–1.9), males (RR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0–2.1), re-treatment patients (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.9–3.2) and those who received community-based Direct Observed Treatment (RR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1–1.9). Conclusion: Treatment outcomes were poor in older TB patients warranting special attention to this group – including routine assessment and recording of co-morbidities, a dedicated recording, reporting and monitoring of outcomes for this age-group and collaboration with National programme of non-communicable diseases for comprehensive management of co-morbidities.

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