Predictors of Latent Tuberculosis Infection Treatment After Introduction of a New Regimen: A Retrospective Cohort Study at an Inner City Clinic

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Background.  Despite the low and decreasing prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in the United States, there remain certain high-risk groups with high incidence rates. The targeted screening and treatment of latent TB infection (LTBI) among these high-risk groups are needed to achieve TB elimination; however, by most accounts, LTBI treatment completion rates remain low.

Methods.  We retrospectively studied all patients accepting treatment for LTBI at the Fulton County Health Department TB clinic over 2 years. Medical chart abstraction was performed to collect information on sociodemographics, medical, and LTBI treatment history. Treatment completion was defined as finishing ≥88% of the prescribed regimen. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of treatment completion.

Results.  Among 547 adults offered LTBI treatment, 424 (78%) accepted treatment and 298 of 424 (70%) completed treatment. The median age was 42 years, most patients were black (77%), and close to one third did not have stable housing. No significant difference in completion rates was found between the 3 regimens of 9 months isoniazid (65%), 4 months rifampin (71%), and 3 months of weekly rifapentine and isoniazid (79%). In multivariate analysis, having stable housing increased the odds of finishing treatment, whereas tobacco use and an adverse event decreased the odds.

Conclusion.  Utilizing comprehensive case management, we demonstrated high rates of LTBI treatment completion, including among those receiving a 3-month regimen. Completion rates were higher among persons with stable housing, and this finding highlights the need to develop strategies that will improve adherence among homeless persons.

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