Background: To analyze tuberculosis treatment outcome in Spain. Patients and method: A retrospective cohort study was performed of 6 Autonomous Regions of Spain: Asturias, Catalonia, Galicia, La Rioja, Murcia and Basque Country. Study subjects were new cases of tuberculosis identified through the MPTR who were not in prison at the time of diagnosis (May 1996-April 1997). Information was gathered from the patients' clinical records. Guidelines issued for tuberculosis treatment outcome monitoring in Europe were followed. Results: A total of 4,899 new cases of tuberculosis met the criteria for inclusion. Out of them, 4,240 (86.6%) had enough information on tuberculosis treatment outcome in their clinical record. Results showed that 3,417 cases (69.7%) had a satisfactory outcome, 438 (8.9%) died before or during treatment and 1,044 (21.4%) met the definition of a potentially unsatisfactory outcome. There were important differences in treatment outcome between regions. There were also variations by nationality, age group, HIV status, history of intravenous drug use, history of alcohol abuse and site of disease. Conclusions: According to the results of our study, the proportion of new cases of tuberculosis that had a satisfactory outcome at the end of treatment do not reach WHO recommended level to effectively control the disease. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the situation and to propose measures to improve it.
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