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Title: Tuberculosis notifications in regional Victoria, Australia: Implications for public health care in a low incidence setting.
Author: Moyo, N.
Tay, E.
Trauer, J.
Burke, L.
Jackson, J.
Commons, Robert J.
Boyd, S.
Singh, K.
Denholm, J.
Issue Date: 2023
Publication Title: PLOS One
Volume: 18
Issue: 3
Start Page: e0282884
Abstract: Background: Regionality is often a significant factor in tuberculosis (TB) management and outcomes worldwide. A wide range of context-specific factors may influence these differences and change over time. We compared TB treatment in regional and metropolitan areas, considering demographic and temporal trends affecting TB diagnosis and outcomes. Methods: Retrospective analyses of data for patients notified with TB in Victoria, Australia, were conducted. The study outcomes were treatment delays and treatment outcomes. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard model analyses were performed to investigate the effect of regionality in the management of TB. Six hundred and eleven (7%) TB patients were notified in regional and 8,163 (93%) in metropolitan areas between 1995 and 2019. Of the 611 cases in the regional cohort, 401 (66%) were overseas-born. Fifty-one percent of the overseas-born patients in regional Victoria developed TB disease within five years of arrival in Australia. Four cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis were reported in regional areas, compared to 97 cases in metropolitan areas. A total of 3,238 patients notified from 2012 to 2019 were included in the survival analysis. The time follow-up for patient delay started at symptom onset date, and the event was the presentation to the healthcare centre. For healthcare system delay, follow-up time began at the presentation to the healthcare centre, and the event was commenced on TB treatment. Cases with extrapulmonary TB in regional areas have a non-significantly longer healthcare system delay than patients in metropolitan (median 64 days versus 54 days, AHR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.6-1.0, P = 0.094). Conclusion: Tuberculosis in regional Victoria is common among the overseas-born population, and patients with extrapulmonary TB in regional areas experienced a non-significant minor delay in treatment commencement with no apparent detriment to treatment outcomes. Improving access to LTBI management in regional areas may reduce the burden of TB.
Internal ID Number: 02133
Health Subject: TUBERCULOSIS
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Research Output

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