Risk factors for extra-pulmonary tuberculosis compared to pulmonary tuberculosis

J N Lin, C H Lai, Y H Chen, S S J Lee, S S Tsai, C K Huang, H C Chung, S H Liang, H H Lin
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2009, 13 (5): 620-5

BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a major global health problem. Extra-pulmonary TB (EPTB) manifests with protean symptoms, and establishing a diagnosis is more difficult than pulmonary TB (PTB).

SETTING: A university-affiliated hospital in southern Taiwan.

OBJECTIVE: To analyse the risk factors for EPTB compared with PTB.

DESIGN: This retrospective study compared patients with EPTB and PTB in southern Taiwan by analysing their demographic data and clinical underlying diseases. Risk factors for EPTB were further analysed.

RESULTS: A total of 766 TB patients were enrolled in this study, with 102 (13.3%) EPTB and 664 (86.7%) PTB cases. Of the 766 patients, 3% of PTB patients had EPTB, while 19.6% of EPTB patients also had PTB. The most frequently involved EPTB site was the bone and joints (24.5%). The incidence of EPTB vs. PTB decreased significantly for each decade increase in patient age. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that being female, not being diabetic, having end-stage renal disease and not smoking were independent risk factors for EPTB.

CONCLUSION: This study defines the risk factors for EPTB compared with PTB. Awareness of these factors is essential for physicians to have a high index of suspicion for accurate and timely diagnosis.

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