Undernutrition and Mortality among Adult Tuberculosis Patients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Getachew Seid, Marta Ayele
Advances in Preventive Medicine 2020, 2020: 5238010

Background: In developing countries, there are several adult tuberculosis (TB) patients suffering from profound undernutrition. Undernutrition is a significant risk factor for developing tuberculosis. In the world, TB is one of the top ten and leading causes of death. To appropriately intervene death of adult TB patients, it is crucial to understand the magnitude of undernutrition and its associated factors among them. The study assessed undernutrition and mortality among adult tuberculosis patients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Methods: Institutional-based retrospective study was conducted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from January 2019 to August 2019. The total sample size of the study was 284. The source populations were TB patients who have followed up for TB treatment at public health facilities of Addis Ababa. The sample size was allocated to the selected health facilities proportional to their size, and study subjects were enrolled to the study during the study period. Data were collected by a structured data sheet from the selected health center registration book. Data were entered into Epi Data software and analyzed by using SPSS version 20. Descriptive statistical methods were used to summarize the sociodemographic characteristics of the study participants. Survival curves were generated using the Kaplan-Meier method for all TB patients.

Result: A total of 284 study participants were included in the study. It was found that 46.8% of the study population have undernutrition (BMI <18.5 kg/m2 ) at the time of registration for treatment. Out of undernourished patients, 54 (19.0%) had severe malnutrition and 78 (27.5%) had moderate undernutrition. At the end of the two-month intensive treatment period, the under nutrition prevalence declined to 38.7%. Of the 284 patients, 17 (6.0%) died before completing anti-TB treatment. Three quarters of all forms of TB deaths occurred within 57 days after the start of anti-TB treatment. The proportion of deaths by nutritional status at treatment initiation among normal, moderate acute malnutrition, and severe acute malnutrition TB patients was 3.1%, 8.9%, and 16.3%, respectively.

Conclusion: Almost half of the TB patients were undernourished at the start of anti-TB treatment based on BMI. From the malnourished, less than 20% of the participants gained weight and moved to normal weight at the end of the two-month intensive treatment period. The high death rate was reported among severely malnourished tuberculosis patients, but it needs a larger study to further understand predictors. To enhance the increment of nutritional status during treatment, the government should give attention to support nutritional supplements for TB patients.

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