TB and COPD ‘intimately’ connected

Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015

Tuberculosis is strongly linked to COPD an Australian review finds, calling into question the belief that people who recover from the disease do not have longer-term problems.

Adults over the age of 40 with tuberculosis (TB) were three times more likely to get COPD or bronchiectasis found the review of 11 studies that involved Professor Guy Marks, a respiratory physician and researcher at the Woolcock Institute.

The strongest associations between the diseases were found in countries with higher TB incidence rates, such as South Africa and the Philippines (OR ~6), the researchers reported in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

“The lung sequelae of pulmonary TB may be a significant contributor to COPD population attributable risk, particularly in TB endemic areas and in younger adults,” they wrote.

Increasing rates of cigarette smoking, together with worsening air pollution will exacerbate the lung damage that results from TB, they said.

The findings demonstrate the need to improve TB control and to link patients to ongoing care after TB treatment completion.

It was also another reason to focus attention the need to combat TB globally, Dr Marks says.

The link was discovered by Dr Anthony Byrne a PhD student led a systematic literature review.

“With so many Australians born overseas in these tuberculosis endemic regions, these findings may have important implications for Australian clinicians and researchers,” he said.









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