Delay effect and burden of weather-related tuberculosis cases in Rajshahi province, Bangladesh, 2007-2012

Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 3;9(1):12720. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-49135-8.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially fatal infectious disease that continues to be a public health problem in Bangladesh. Each year in Bangladesh an estimated 70,000 people die of TB and 300,000 new cases are projected. It is important to understand the association between TB incidence and weather factors in Bangladesh in order to develop proper intervention programs. In this study, we examine the delayed effect of weather variables on TB occurrence and estimate the burden of the disease that can be attributed to weather factors. We used generalized linear Poisson regression models to investigate the association between weather factors and TB cases reported to the Bangladesh National TB control program between 2007 and 2012 in three known endemic districts of North-East Bangladesh. The associated risk of TB in the three districts increases with prolonged exposure to temperature and rainfall, and persisted at lag periods beyond 6 quarters. The association between humidity and TB is strong and immediate at low humidity, but the risk decreases with increasing lag. Using the optimum weather values corresponding to the lowest risk of infection, the risk of TB is highest at low temperature, low humidity and low rainfall. Measures of the risk attributable to weather variables revealed that weather-TB cases attributed to humidity is higher than that of temperature and rainfall in each of the three districts. Our results highlight the high linearity of temporal lagged effects and magnitudes of the burden attributable to temperature, humidity, and rainfall on TB endemics. The results can hopefully advise the Bangladesh National TB control program and act as a practical reference for the early warning of TB cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Epidemics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Humidity*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Rain*
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*