Background: Studies have shown an association between smoking and tuberculosis (TB) infection, disease and TB-related mortality. We hypothesized that smokers with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) are less likely to comply with their LTBI treatment regimen, thus increasing their risk of developing active disease. We thus documented the impact of smoking on adherence to LTBI treatment.
Method: Between 1998 and 2000, a convenience sample of patients undergoing treatment for LTBI completed a questionnaire on smoking status. Level of adherence to LTBI treatment was tested for associations with socio-demographic profile, and smoking status
Results: 320 patients were recruited, and 302 (94%) completed the questionnaire. Smoking prevalence was 21%. 72% of patients were adherent to LTBI treatment. Women (OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.2-3.3) and non-smokers (OR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.0-3.3) were associated with adherence to LTBI treatment. Only gender was found as an independent predictor of adherence after adjusting for age and smoking status (OR = 1.9; 95% CI: 1.06-3.3).
Conclusion: Males and smokers need to have extra supervision to ensure compliance with LTBI treatment.