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Tuberculosis in London: The importance of homelessness, problem drug use and prison

Story, A; Murad, S; Roberts, W; Verheyen, M; Hayward, AC; London Tuberculosis Nurses Network, ; (2007) Tuberculosis in London: The importance of homelessness, problem drug use and prison. THORAX , 62 (8) 667 - 671. 10.1136/thx.2006.065409. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The control of tuberculosis (TB) is founded on early case detection and complete treatment of disease. In the UK, TB is concentrated in subgroups of the population in large urban centres. The impact of homelessness, imprisonment and problem drug use on TB control in London is reviewed.Methods: A cohort study was undertaken of all patients with TB in Greater London to determine the point prevalence of disease in different groups and to examine risk factors for smear positivity, drug resistance, treatment adherence, loss to follow-up and use of directly observed therapy (DOT).Results: Data were collected on 97% (1941/1995) of eligible patients. The overall prevalence of TB was 27 per 100 000. An extremely high prevalence of TB was seen in homeless people (788/100 000), problem drug users (354/100 000) and prisoners (208/100 000). Multivariate analysis showed that problem drug use was associated with smear positive disease (OR 2.2, p<0.001), being part of a known outbreak of drug resistant TB (OR 3.5, p = 0.001) and loss to follow-up (OR 2.7, p<0.001). Imprisonment was associated with being part of the outbreak (OR 10.3, p<0.001) and poor adherence (OR 3.9, p<0.001). Homelessness was associated with infectious TB (OR 1.6, p = 0.05), multidrug resistance (OR 2.1, p = 0.03), poor adherence (OR 2.5, p<0.001) and loss to follow-up (OR 3.8, p<0.001). In London, homeless people, prisoners and problem drug users collectively comprise 17% of TB cases, 44% of smear positive drug resistant cases, 38% of poorly compliant cases and 44% of cases lost to follow-up. 15% of these patients start treatment on DOT but 46% end up on DOT.Conclusions: High levels of infectious and drug resistant disease, poor adherence and loss to follow-up care indicate that TB is not effectively controlled among homeless people, prisoners and problem drug users in London.

Type: Article
Title: Tuberculosis in London: The importance of homelessness, problem drug use and prison
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/thx.2006.065409
Keywords: DIRECTLY OBSERVED THERAPY, ADHERENCE, PREVALENCE, PROSPECTS, PROGRAM
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/6665
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