Tuberculosis Burden and Determinants of Treatment Outcomes According to Age in Brazil: A Nationwide Study of 896,314 Cases Reported Between 2010 and 2019

Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 Jul 27;8:706689. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.706689. eCollection 2021.


Approximately 1.4 million people die annually worldwide from tuberculosis. Large epidemiologic studies can identify determinants of unfavorable clinical outcomes according to age, which can guide public health policy implementation and clinical management to improve outcomes. We obtained data from the national tuberculosis case registry; data were reported to the Brazilian National Program (SINAN) between 2010 and 2019. Clinical and epidemiologic variables were compared between age groups (child: <10 years, young: 10-24years, adult: 25-64years, and elderly: ≥65years). Univariate comparisons were performed together with second-generation p-values. We applied a backward stepwise multivariable logistic regression model to identify characteristics in each age group associated with unfavorable TB treatment outcomes. There were 896,314 tuberculosis cases reported during the period. Tuberculosis incidence was highest among adult males, but the young males presented the highest growth rate during the period. Directly observed therapy (DOT) was associated with protection against unfavorable outcomes in all age groups. The use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and smoking, as well as occurrence of comorbidities, were significantly different between age groups. Lack of DOT, previous tuberculosis, race, location of tuberculosis disease, and HIV infection were independent risk factors for unfavorable outcome depending on the age group. The clinical and epidemiological risk factors for unfavorable tuberculosis treatment outcomes varied according to age in Brazil. DOT was associated with improved outcomes in all age groups. Incidence according to age and sex identified adults and young males as the groups that need prevention efforts. This supports implementation of DOT in all populations to improve tuberculosis outcomes.

Keywords: age; extrapulmonary TB; outcomes; pulmonary TB; tuberculosis.