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Latent Tuberculosis Infection and the Risk of Cancer: A Nationwide Population-Based Study
PDPI Jatim, 05 Jul 2019 08:17:18


Introduction: Epidemiological studies have identified a trend in the development of cancers following a diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). The association between latent TB infection (LTBI) and cancer remains unclear.

Aims and objectives: We aimed to explore the risk for future cancer in TB contacts, either with or without LTBI.

Methods: Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research database, we conducted a population-based cohort study. Contacts of tuberculosis patients between 1997 and 2012 were enrolled. Patients with antecedent cancer and TB infection were excluded. 11,522 TB contacts and 46,088 age-, sex-, and enrollment date-matched subjects between 1997 and 2012 were enrolled. The two cohorts were followed up till Dec. 31, 2012 and observed for occurrence of cancer and TB infection. In this study, LTBI was defined as the TB contact developed subsequent TB infection.

Results: We observed TB contacts and comparison cohorts for 34,558 and 155,347 person-years, respectively, from 1997 to 2012. Of the 57,610 patients, 1077 (1.87%) suffered from cancer and 287 (0.50%) developed subsequent TB infection. Of the 130 LTBI patients, 11 (8.46%) developed cancer. After multivariate adjustment, the hazard ratio (HR) for cancer among the LTBI patients was 2.28 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25–4.16; p = 0.007). Of the 136 TB contacts with isoniazid prophylaxis, nobody developed cancer.

Conclusions: Our study indicates that LTBI appeared to confer a higher risk for future cancer. However, isoniazid prophylaxis may reduce the risk for future cancer.

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