Healthcare Utilization After Respiratory Tuberculosis: A Controlled Interrupted Time Series Analysis

Clin Infect Dis. 2023 Sep 18;77(6):883-891. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciad290.


Background: Despite data suggesting elevated morbidity and mortality among people who have survived tuberculosis disease, the impact of respiratory tuberculosis on healthcare utilization in the years following diagnosis and treatment remains unclear.

Methods: Using linked health administrative data from British Columbia, Canada, we identified foreign-born individuals treated for respiratory tuberculosis between 1990 and 2019. We matched each person with up to four people without a tuberculosis diagnosis from the same source cohort using propensity score matching. Then, using a controlled interrupted time series analysis, we measured outpatient physician encounters and inpatient hospital admissions in the 5 years following respiratory tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment.

Results: We matched 1216 individuals treated for respiratory tuberculosis to 4864 non-tuberculosis controls. Immediately following the tuberculosis diagnostic and treatment period, the monthly rate of outpatient encounters in the tuberculosis group was 34.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 30.7%, 37.2%) higher than expected, and this trend was sustained for the duration of the post-tuberculosis period. The excess utilization represented an additional 12.2 (95% CI: 10.6, 14.9) outpatient encounters per person over the post-tuberculosis period, with respiratory morbidity a large contributor to the excess healthcare utilization. Results were similar for hospital admissions, with an additional 0.4 (95% CI: .3, .5) hospital admissions per person over the post-tuberculosis period.

Conclusions: Respiratory tuberculosis appears to have long-term impacts on healthcare utilization beyond treatment. These findings underscore the need for screening, assessment, and treatment of post-tuberculosis sequelae, as it may provide an opportunity to improve health and reduce resource use.

Keywords: epidemiology; healthcare utilization; post-tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Interrupted Time Series Analysis
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Tuberculosis* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis* / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis* / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary*

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