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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2000 Aug;4(8):771-5.

Haptoglobin polymorphism and mortality in patients with tuberculosis.

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Department of Medicine, Medical School, The University of Zimbabwe, Avondale, Harare.



A rural Zimbabwean hospital and the surrounding community.


To determine whether a particular haptoglobin phenotype is associated with increased susceptibility to clinical pulmonary tuberculosis, and to determine the outcome of treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis according to haptoglobin phenotype.


A case-control study, and a prospective cohort study.


We studied 98 consecutive patients with sputum-positive pulmonary tuberculosis and 98 sex- and age-matched controls. The haptoglobin (Hp) phenotype distributions did not differ significantly between the tuberculosis patients and controls (P = 0.5). During the 18-month follow-up period after the start of tuberculosis treatment, 6/18 (33%) cases with Hp 2-2 phenotype died compared to 9/47 (19%) with Hp 2-1 and 3/31 (10%) with Hp 1-1. In a logistic regression model, the odds of dying were 6.1-fold greater with Hp 2-2 than with Hp 1-1 (95%CI 1.04-35.1, P = 0.04).


Our results suggest that there is equal susceptibility to clinical pulmonary tuberculosis disease amongst different haptoglobin phenotypes. Nonetheless, tuberculosis patients with Hp 2-2 phenotype had a higher risk of mortality.

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