Impact of tuberculosis exposure at home on mortality in children under 5 years of age in Guinea-Bissau

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Objective To assess mortality related to exposure to tuberculosis (TB) at home among children in urban areas of Guinea-Bissau. Methods In four suburban areas included in the demographic surveillance system of the Bandim Health Project in Bissau, the mortality of children aged <5 years living with an adult with TB was compared with the mortality of children in the general population. Results Children <5 years of age exposed to an adult with intrathoracic TB had 66% higher mortality than unexposed children (HR 1.66, 95% CI 1.2 to 2.3). The risk was higher for children living in the same family as a TB case (HR 2.15, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.7) than for children living in the same house but not belonging to the same family as the TB case (HR 1.51, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.2). For children whose mother had TB, mortality was increased eightfold (HR 7.82, 95% CI 2.1 to 30). The risk of death was particularly increased from 6 months following exposure (HR 2.16, 95% CI 1.5 to 3.2) and the highest rate of excess mortality was found in children aged 3-4 years. Excess mortality was highest among children with close contact with an adult with sputum-positive pulmonary TB (HR 1.90, 95% CI 1.1 to 3.2), but contact with a sputum-negative case was also associated with increased mortality (HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.3). Adjusting for potential confounding factors did not change these results. The mortality among children living in the same houses 3 years earlier was not increased (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.6 to 1.3). Conclusion Intimate family contact with a TB case represents a significant risk factor for child mortality in a low-income country.


  • Victor F. Gomes
  • Andreas Andersen
  • Christian Wejse
  • Ines Oliveira
  • Fina J. Vieira
  • Luis Carlos Joaquim
  • Cesaltina S. Vieira
  • Peter Aaby
  • Per Gustafson

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Lungmedicin och allergi
Sidor (från-till)163-167
StatusPublished - 2011
Peer review utfördJa