FRIDAY, April 28, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with concurrent tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19 have a high risk for death, according to a study published online April 26 in PLOS Global Public Health.
Alice V. Easton, Ph.D., from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in New York City, and colleagues compared mortality (March 2020 to June 2022) between individuals with TB alone (902 patients) or with TB and COVID-19 concurrently (106 individuals; within 120 days). The patients in the cohorts were largely demographically and clinically similar.
The researchers found that mortality was higher among patients with concurrent TB and COVID-19 versus patients with TB alone, even after controlling for age and sex (hazard ratio, 2.62). Nearly one in three patients (31 percent) with concurrent TB and COVID-19 aged 45 years and older died during the study period.
"Given the growing recognition of the risks posed by these diseases in combination, it will be important to increase screening for COVID-19 among patients with TB and increase screening for TB among patients hospitalized with suspected COVID-19," the authors write. "Early detection of COVID-19 in patients with TB should then be followed by guidance towards easy and immediate access to antiviral medications, and any other effective medications for COVID-19 that are developed in the future."