Difference in symptoms suggesting pulmonary tuberculosis among men and women

J Clin Epidemiol. 2002 Feb;55(2):115-20. doi: 10.1016/s0895-4356(01)00455-3.


Longer delays in diagnosis and lower case-detection of tuberculosis (TB) among women remain a problem in many countries. This study describes reported symptoms of new smear-positive pulmonary TB among men and women, and their association with TB diagnostic delays. All 1,027 new smear-positive pulmonary TB cases aged 15 years or over (757 men and 270 women) diagnosed by 23 district TB units of four provinces in Vietnam during 1996 were interviewed at the time of diagnosis. Among these, 540 patients diagnosed during January-June 1996 were followed up during treatment course. Pattern of symptoms was similar between the sexes. However, symptoms of cough (90.7% women, 94.7% men, P = .021), sputum expectoration (83.6% women, 89.9% men, P = .006), and hemoptysis (27.8% women, 34.9% men, P = .033) were less common among women than among men. Absence of cough and sputum expectoration was significantly associated with increased doctor's delays. Two months after treatment, cough and sputum expectoration recovered significantly more quickly among women compared to men.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / physiopathology*
  • Vietnam


  • Antitubercular Agents