Tobacco smoking and tuberculosis treatment outcomes: A prospective cohort study in Georgia

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Objective To assess the effect of tobacco smoking on the outcome of tuberculosis treatment in Tbilisi, Georgia. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study of adults with laboratory-confirmed tuberculosis from May 2011 to November 2013. History of tobacco smoking was collected using a standardized questionnaire adapted from the global adult tobacco survey. We considered tuberculosis therapy to have a poor outcome if participants defaulted, failed treatment or died. We used multivariable regressions to estimate the risk of a poor treatment outcome. Findings Of the 591 tuberculosis patients enrolled, 188 (31.8%) were past smokers and 271 (45.9%) were current smokers. Ninety (33.2%) of the current smokers and 24 (18.2%) of the participants who had never smoked had previously been treated for tuberculosis (P < 0.01). Treatment outcome data were available for 524 of the participants, of whom 128 (24.4%) – including 80 (32.9%) of the 243 current smokers and 21 (17.2%) of the 122 individuals who had never smoked – had a poor treatment outcome. Compared with those who had never smoked, current smokers had an increased risk of poor treatment outcome (adjusted relative risk, aRR: 1.70; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.00–2.90). Those who had ceased smoking more than two months before enrolment did not have such an increased risk (aRR: 1.01; 95% CI: 0.51–1.99). Conclusion There is a high prevalence of smoking among patients with tuberculosis in Georgia and smoking increases the risk of a poor treatment outcome.




Gegia, M., Magee, M. J., Kempker, R. R., Kalandadze, I., Chakhaia, T., Golub, J. E., & Blumberg, H. M. (2015). Tobacco smoking and tuberculosis treatment outcomes: A prospective cohort study in Georgia. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 93(6), 390–399.

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