Epidemiological characteristics of pulmonary tuberculosis among health-care workers in Henan, China from 2010 to 2017
Health-care workers (HCWs) are an epidemiological group with increased exposure to tuberculosis (TB), especially at health-care facilities (HCFs) with poor TB infection control in high-TB-burden settings. China is a high-TB-burden country, and the comprehensive measures for stopping TB transmission at some HCFs were not implemented well owing to limited resources and other factors. The purpose of this study was to review risk of occupational exposure to TB among HCWs and its change trend, and identify epidemiological characteristics of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) among HCWs in Henan, central part of China.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted from 2010 to 2017. All HCWs and teachers in Henan were enrolled to the study as exposed group and non-exposed control group, respectively. Relative risk (RR), attributable risk (AR) and AR percent (AR%) were used to measure the association between the occupational exposure and PTB, and estimated with Poisson regression.
The study results showed a total of 1663 cases of PTB were reported among the HCWs in Henan, accounting for 3.2‰ of all PTB cases reported in the whole population, and annual incidence rate of PTB among HCWs declined by 34% from 2010 to 2017. Over the eight years, the incidence rate of PTB among HCWs was 43.7 cases per 100,000 person-years (PYs), significantly higher than that among teachers (18.8 cases/100,000 PYs), and RR, AR and AR% were estimated to 2.3, 24.9 cases per 100,000 PYs and 57%, respectively. Among HCWs, males were more likely to suffer from PTB than females (adjusted RR: 1.3; 95%CI: 1.2–1.4), and HCWs aged under 25 years had the highest relative risk over all age groups with adjusted RR equaling to 8.3 (95%CI: 6.9-9.9) calculated with those aged 45–54 years as the reference.
Although overall incidence rate of PTB among HCWs showed decreasing temporal trends over the period of 2010–2017, attributable risk of occupational exposure to TB among HCWs did not decrease in Henan, and TB infection at HCFs for males, young or senior HCWs, especially for young HCWs is of much concern.
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