Mortality Hazard and Survival After Tuberculosis Treatment

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Abstract

Objectives

We compared mortality among tuberculosis (TB) survivors and a similar population.

Methods

We used local health authority records from 3 US sites to identify 3853 persons who completed adequate treatment of TB and 7282 individuals diagnosed with latent TB infection 1993 to 2002. We then retrospectively observed mortality after 6 to 16 years of observation. We ascertained vital status as of December 31, 2008, using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Death Index. We analyzed mortality rates, hazards, and associations using Cox regression.

Results

We traced 11 135 individuals over 119 772 person-years of observation. We found more all-cause deaths (20.7% vs 3.1%) among posttreatment TB patients than among the comparison group, an adjusted average excess of 7.6 deaths per 1000 person-years (8.8 vs 1.2; P < .001). Mortality among posttreatment TB patients varied with observable factors such as race, site of disease, HIV status, and birth country.

Conclusions

Fully treated TB is still associated with substantial mortality risk. Cure as currently understood may be insufficient protection against TB-associated mortality in the years after treatment, and TB prevention may be a valuable opportunity to modify this risk.

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