The Epidemiology Characteristics of Extra-pulmonary Tuberculosis in Taiwan, 1996-2003

Yu-Chen Hsu

2007 Vol.23 NO.8

Correspondence Author: Yu-Chen Hsu


from Chinese version, pp,447-447
Little about extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) epidemiology has been made known to the public in Taiwan. The main objective of this study is to describe the epidemiological characteristics of the disease in Taiwan for the period from 1996 to 2003 using the health insurance data. Data from a nationally representative cohort consisting of 200,000 randomly selected individuals established in 2000 from the National Health Insurance Program was used. Data analyses used in this study included measuring annual incidence by sex, age, geographic area and population density-specific incidence rates based on a total of 168,977 persons insured in 1996. The hepatotoxicity prevalence associated with the tuberculosis treatment was measured. During 1997 to 2003, the incidence of EPTB for males annually decreased from 33/100,000 to 20/100,000, and that for females decreased from 36 to 17 per 100,000. The risk of developing EPTB increased with age and was higher among the population in the eastern Taiwan than in other areas. The hepatotoxic effect was prevalent among EPTB patients and approximately 30% had been diagnosed with chronic liver injuries.
Conclusion: The observed incidence of EPTB may have reached a plateau in Taiwan. The elderly were at much higher risk for the disease and the high prevalence of liver injury observed deserves further study. Intervention for TB prevention and control can focus to the elderly as well as Hepatitis B carriers and Hepatitis C infected patients.