Case-finding of pulmonary tuberculosis on admission to a penitentiary centre

V. Martín, P. Gonzalez, J. A. Caylá, J. Mirabent, J. Cañellas, J. M. Pina, P. Miret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Setting: The prison population is considered to be at high risk of tuberculosis infection and illness. Therefore, a tuberculosis prevention and control program was put into effect upon the opening of a penitentiary center in Barcelona whose inmates suffered a high prevalence of intravenous drug use (IVDU) (48.4%) and HIV-1 infection (36.0%). Objective: To ascertain the prevalence of tuberculosis infection and pulmonary tuberculosis detected on admission to jail among those prisoners who had no history of tuberculosis; and to study as predictors of tuberculosis infection and illness the variables age, IVDU and HIV-1 infection. Design: Cross-sectional study. Results: Of the 729 prisoners studied, 56.2% were considered infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Age was the only variable associated with the infection, with an Odds Ratio (OR) of 1.017 per year (Confidence Interval [CI] 95% = 1.006-1.029) (P = 0,004). The rates of HIV-1 and M. tuberculosis co-infection, which may run between 18.9% and 21.7%, reached 42.8% in the IVDU. A 2.7% prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis was observed. The most accurate logistic regression model for pulmonary tuberculosis diagnosis (P = 0.09) includes the variables tuberculosis infection (OR = 13.00; CI 95% = 1.7-98), IVDU (OR = 2.60; CI 95% = 0.66-7.81) and age (OR = 1.05; CI 95% = 0.99-1.11). Conclusion: Given the high prevalences observed, we propose the activation and maintenance of programs designed to seek out and identify cases of M. tuberculosis infection and illness within the prison population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalTubercle and Lung Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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