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Previous and active tuberculosis increases risk of death and prolongs recovery in patients with COVID-19

Abstract

There is a growing literature on the association of SARS-CoV-2 and other chronic conditions, such as noncommunicable diseases. However, little is known about the impact of coinfection with tuberculosis. We aimed to compare the risk of death and recovery, as well as time-to-death and time-to-recovery, in COVID-19 patients with and without tuberculosis.

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Our findings show that coinfection with tuberculosis increased morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 patients. Our findings highlight the need to prioritize routine and testing services for tuberculosis, although health systems are disrupted by the heavy burden of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

We created a 4:1 propensity score matched sample of COVID-19 patients without and with tuberculosis, using COVID-19 surveillance data in the Philippines. We conducted a longitudinal cohort analysis of matched COVID-19 patients as of May 17, 2020, following them until June 15, 2020. The primary analysis estimated the risk ratios of death and recovery in patients with and without tuberculosis. Kaplan-Meier curves described time-to-death and time-to-recovery stratified by tuberculosis status, and differences in survival were assessed using the Wilcoxon test.

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