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Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2000 Aug;55(4):293-8.

Evaluation of tuberculosis treatment results in Italy, report 1998. Tuberculosis section of the National AIPO Study Group on Infectious Disease and the SMIRA Group.

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Eondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Clinica del Lavoro e della Riabilitazione, Care and Research Institute, Tradate, VA, Italy.


In Italy no national data on tuberculosis (TB) treatment results were available. In 1995 the AIPO (Italian Association of Hospital Pneumologists) TB Study Group, in collaboration with the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (technical branch of the Ministry of Health), started a prospective monitoring activity based on World Health Organization (WHO) and International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) recommendations. Data were collected from a representative network of TB units nationwide, managing a significant proportion of all TB cases notified in Italy each year. The aim of this study was to analyse the case findings and treatment results for the year 1998. The number of TB cases reported was 1162 (61.7% males; 28.2% immigrants), 888 (76.6%) being new cases. Of these cases, 1,001 (86.4%) were pulmonary, 132 (11.4%) extrapulmonary and 26 (2.2%) both pulmonary and extrapulmonary. The main risk factors for TB were a history of recent contact, diabetes and alcohol abuse among native Italians and human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive status and history of recent contact among immigrants. The majority of immigrants were from Africa and South America, and had been in Italy > 24 months before diagnosis of TB. Forty-seven per cent (552 of 1,162) of patients had a positive direct sputum smear examination for alcohol acidfast bacilli; 30% were resistant to any drug (combined monoresistance (the sum of primary and acquired drug resistance) to rifampicin 2.3%; combined multidrug resistance 11.4%). In 97% of cases, the duration of treatment was < 12 months. The overall success rate (cured plus treatment completed excluding transferred out from the denominator) was 83%. A significantly higher percentage of deaths was found in native Italians (being age-related; p < 0.001), whereas immigrants had a higher default rate.

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