High rates of death and loss to follow-up by 12 months of rifampicin resistant TB treatment in South Africa

Kamban Hirasen, Rebecca Berhanu, Denise Evans, Sydney Rosen, Ian Sanne, Lawrence Long

Introduction: Treatment success rates of rifampicin resistant (RR)/multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa range from 43–48%, falling short of the World Health Organization’s target of ≥75%. We present rates and assess predictors of attrition by 12 months on treatment.

Methods: Prospective observational cohort analysis of adults (≥18 years) initiating RR/MDR-TB treatment from 01 March 2013 to 30 September 2016. Attrition was defined as a combination of death and loss to follow-up (LTFU; treatment interruption ≥2 months) by 12 months on treatment. Predictors of attrition were identified using Cox Proportional Hazards models to estimate crude (HR) and adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals.

Results: By 12 months on treatment, 75/240 (31.3%) patients had either died (37/240; 15.4%) or been LTFU (38/240; 15.8%). Patients with moderate/severe anaemia (aHR: 2.10; 95% CI 1.00–4.39), and those who were smear positive at baseline (aHR: 2.04; 95% CI 1.01–4.12) were significantly more likely to die or be lost from care.

Conclusion: At this outpatient DR-TB treatment site, there was a high rate of attrition halfway through the standard treatment course at 12 months of 31%. High rates of attrition by 12 months on treatment may continue during the second-half of therapy.

February 21, 2019
Year of publication
Resource types
Journal and research articles
HE2RO, treatment initiation, patient outcomes, decentralizated care, rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB), decentralization of care and treatment, diagnosis, drug resistance, tuberculosis, TB, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB), TB treatment

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