Risk factors for TB in Australia and their association with delayed treatment completion

N. J. Coorey, L. Kensitt, J. Davies, E. Keller, M. Sheel, K. Chani, S. Barry, R. Boyd, J. Denholm, K. Watts, G. Fox, C. Lowbridge, R. Perera, J. Waring, B. Marais, K. Viney

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    BACKGROUND: Australia has a low incidence of TB and has committed to eliminating the disease. Identification of risk factors associated with TB is critical to achieving this goal.

    METHODS: We undertook a prospective cohort study involving persons receiving TB treatment in four Australian jurisdictions. Risk factors and their association with delayed treatment completion (treatment delayed by at least 1 month) were analysed using univariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression.

    RESULTS: Baseline surveys were completed for 402 persons with TB. Most (86.1%) were born overseas. Exposure to a person with TB was reported by 19.4%. Diabetes mellitus (10.2%), homelessness (9.2%), cigarette smoking (8.7%), excess alcohol consumption (6.0%) and mental illness (6.2%) were other common risk factors. At follow-up, 24.8% of patients had delayed treatment completion, which was associated with adverse events (34.1%, aOR 6.67, 95% CI 3.36-13.27), excess alcohol consumption (6.0%, aOR 21.94, 95% CI 6.03-79.85) and HIV co-infection (2.7%, aOR 8.10, 95% CI 1.16-56.60).

    CONCLUSIONS: We identified risk factors for TB and their association with delayed treatment completion, not all of which are routinely collected for surveillance purposes. Recognition of these risk factors should facilitate patient-centred care and assist Australia in reaching TB elimination.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)399-405
    Number of pages7
    JournalThe international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


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