Predictors of Change in the Anemia Status Among Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients Following Anti-tuberculosis Treatment in Puducherry, India

Cureus. 2023 Sep 7;15(9):e44821. doi: 10.7759/cureus.44821. eCollection 2023 Sep.


Background Pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) is commonly associated with reversible peripheral blood abnormalities. The evolution of tuberculosis (TB)-associated anemia with anti-tuberculosis treatment (ATT) has not been well elucidated. This study aimed to compare the hematological profiles at the start and end of the ATT among new sputum smear-positive (NSP) PTB patients in Puducherry, India. Methods A prospective cohort study was conducted in the 10 urban primary health centers of Puducherry from 2017 to 2020. All the NSP PTB participants aged ≥18 years registered under the National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP) were contacted within two weeks of the start of the ATT. All eligible participants were enrolled, and they were followed up till the end of ATT (180 days). Hematological profiles and anthropometric measurements were compared at the start and end of the ATT. Binomial logistic regression analysis was used to assess the predictors of changes in the anemia status at the start and end of the ATT. Results Out of 176 NSP PTB participants, 145 were followed up after treatment. Initially, 63% (111/176) patients had anemia, which decreased to 44% (64/145) by the end of treatment. The risk factors for a negative change in hemoglobin levels were female gender, below poverty level, underweight, and reduced iron intake. The adjusted risk ratios (ARRs) were 1.53 (1.24-1.88), 1.18 (1.01-1.38), 1.29 (1.02-1.64), and 1.26 (1.05-1.51),respectively. Conclusion ATT may lead to the resolution of TB-associated anemia. Moreover, female gender, possession of a red ration card, being underweight, and reduced iron intake were identified as risk factors for negative changes in hemoglobin levels during treatment.

Keywords: anemia; anti-tubercular treatment; dietary intake; hemoglobin; nutritional status; pulmonary tuberculosis.