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J Korean Med Sci. 2011 Feb;26(2):268-73. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2011.26.2.268. Epub 2011 Jan 24.

The risk of obstructive lung disease by previous pulmonary tuberculosis in a country with intermediate burden of tuberculosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.


We evaluated the effects of previous pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) on the risk of obstructive lung disease. We analyzed population-based, the Second Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001. Participants underwent chest X-rays (CXR) and spirometry, and qualified radiologists interpreted the presence of TB lesion independently. A total of 3,687 underwent acceptable spirometry and CXR. Two hundreds and ninety four subjects had evidence of previous TB on CXR with no subjects having evidence of active disease. Evidence of previous TB on CXR were independently associated with airflow obstruction (adjusted odds ratios [OR] = 2.56 [95% CI 1.84-3.56]) after adjustment for sex, age and smoking history. Previous TB was still a risk factor (adjusted OR = 3.13 [95% CI 1.86-5.29]) with exclusion of ever smokers or subjects with advanced lesion on CXR. Among never-smokers, the proportion of subjects with previous TB on CXR increased as obstructive lung disease became more severe. Previous TB is an independent risk factor for obstructive lung disease, even if the lesion is minimal and TB can be an important cause of obstructive lung disease in never-smokers. Effort on prevention and control of TB is crucial in reduction of obstructive lung disease, especially in countries with more than intermediate burden of TB.


Lung Diseases, Obstructive; Tuberculosis

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