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Analysis of loss to follow-up in 4099 multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis patients

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  • Ian F. Walker
  • Oumin Shi
  • Joseph P. Hicks
  • Helen Elsey
  • Xiaolin Wei
  • Dick Menzies
  • Zhiyi Lan
  • Dennis Falzon
  • Giovanni Battista Migliori
  • Carlos Pérez-Guzmán
  • Mario H. Vargas
  • Lourdes García-García
  • José Sifuentes Osornio
  • Alfredo Ponce-De-León
  • Martie Van Der Walt
  • James N. Newell


Publication details

JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
DateAccepted/In press - 10 Apr 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 11 Jul 2019
Issue number1
Early online date11/07/19
Original languageEnglish


Loss to follow-up (LFU) of 2 consecutive months contributes to the poor levels of treatment success in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) reported by TB programmes. We explored the timing of when LFU occurs by month of MDR-TB treatment and identified patient-level risk factors associated with LFU. We analysed a dataset of individual MDR-TB patient data (4099 patients from 22 countries). We used Kaplan–Meier survival curves to plot time to LFU and a Cox proportional hazards model to explore the association of potential risk factors with LFU. Around one-sixth (n=702) of patients were recorded as LFU. Median (interquartile range) time to LFU was 7 (3–11) months. The majority of LFU occurred in the initial phase of treatment (75% in the first 11 months). Major risk factors associated with LFU were: age 36–50 years (HR 1.3, 95% CI 1.0–1.6; p=0.04) compared with age 0–25 years, being HIV positive (HR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2–2.7; p<0.01) compared with HIV negative, on an individualised treatment regimen (HR 0.7, 95% CI 0.6–1.0; p=0.03) compared with a standardised regimen and a recorded serious adverse event (HR 0.5, 95% CI 0.4–0.6; p<0.01) compared with no serious adverse event. Both patient- and regimen-related factors were associated with LFU, which may guide interventions to improve treatment adherence, particularly in the first 11 months.

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