Setting: Alcohol use, tuberculosis (TB) drug resistance and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behavior are of increasing concern in Russian TB patients.
Design: A prevalence study of alcohol use and HIV risk behavior was conducted in a sample of 200 adult men and women admitted to TB hospitals in St Petersburg and Ivanovo, Russia.
Results: Of the subjects, 72% were men. The mean age was 41. Active TB was diagnosed using a combination of chest X-ray, sputum smears and sputum cultures. Sixty-two per cent met DSM-IV criteria for current alcohol abuse or dependence. Drug use was uncommon, with only two patients reporting recent intravenous heroin use. There was one case of HIV infection. The mean total risk assessment battery score was 3.4. Depression was present in 60% of the sample, with 17% severely depressed. Alcohol abuse/dependence was associated with an eight-fold increase in drug resistance (OR 8.58; 95% CI 2.09-35.32). Patients with relapsing or chronic TB were more likely to meet the criteria for alcohol abuse/dependence (OR 2.56; 95% CI 1.0-6.54).
Conclusion: Alcohol use disorders are common in patients being treated for active TB, and are associated with significant morbidity. Additional surveys are needed to examine the relationship between alcohol use disorders and anti-tuberculosis drug resistance.