Journal article Open Access

Tuberculosis characteristics and risk factors in urban compared with rural patients

Tihon, Aliona; Tafuni, Ovidiu; Malic, Alina; Niguleanu, Radu; Osipov, Tatiana; Lesnic, Evelina

Background: Tuberculosis is an important issue for the public health of the Republic of Moldova. The aim of the study was to assess the risk factors for tuberculosis and treatment outcome in urban and rural patients.

Material and methods: A retrospective selective, descriptive study of socioeconomic, epidemiological peculiarities, case-management, diagnosis and microbiological characteristics of 694 patients with tuberculosis registered in Chisinau in 2016 was performed. Among them 581, had an urban residency and 112 rural residency.

Results: Residents from rural population and young persons in urban areas were most affected. Socioeconomic vulnerability predominated in both subpopulations; however, the gravity was more represented in the urban group. Lower level of education and tuberculosis contacts were more dominating in the rural group. Comorbidities, HIV infection were more frequently identified in the urban group, but destructive forms – in the rural patients. Low treatment outcomes were more frequently established in the rural group.

Conclusions: Risk factors for tuberculosis in urban subpopulation were: unemployment, lack of health insurance, homelessness, comorbidities, HIV infection. In rural population prevailed the following risk factors: low school education and tuberculosis contact.

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