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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2013 Apr;17(4):493-8. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.12.0400. Epub 2013 Feb 15.

Deaths of tuberculosis patients in urban China: a retrospective cohort study.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, and Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety, Ministry of Education, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.



The case-fatality rate for tuberculosis (TB) remains high in China, whereas risk factors for deaths among TB cases are still unclear.


This was a retrospective cohort study of all pulmonary TB patients registered in four districts of Shanghai from 2004 to 2008. Data were derived from the China National TB Surveillance System. A total of 4271 patients were followed up in communities. Data were analysed using Cox regression.


The percentage of all-cause deaths in the study population was 15% 2-6 years after the most recent TB diagnosis. TB was responsible for only 17% of all deaths; male sex was significantly associated with all-cause deaths. After adjustment for sex, age and treatment history, four factors were significantly and independently associated with increased risk of death: psychopathy, chronic bronchitis, cancer and the presence of multiple diseases. TB was responsible for 7.2 potential years of life lost (PYLL); PYLL was higher in females (8.2) than males (5.3).


TB remains a significant problem in urban China. Implementation of improved clinical management, prevention strategies and other public health programmes should target TB patients with chronic conditions, particularly those with multiple diseases.

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