Sandeep Singh Sarpal1, Naveen Krishan Goel1, Dinesh Kumar1, Ashok Kumar Janmeja2
1Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector-32, Chandigarh, India.
2Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector-32, Chandigarh, India.
Background: ‘Retreatment’ for tuberculosis (TB) has long been a neglected area in global TB control India. However India disproportionately accounts for nearly half of retreatment TB cases notified globally. Sex differences vary in different age groups and in different parts of the world. The present study focuses on whether gender-based differences are present in notification rates, clinical presentation, and treatment outcomes of different subcategories of patients registered under category II of Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) Chandigarh. Materials and Methods: A longitudinal study was designed and the patients registered under RNTCP category II from June 2010 to December 2011. Out of total 607 patients registered during this period under category II of RNTCP in Chandigarh, 545 consented to participate in the study. These were followed-up to September 2012 till the completion of treatment. All 545 recruited cases were stratified into males and females and the results analyzed. The Z test for proportion (for comparing differences in proportions) and Student’s t-test (for comparing mean) were performed for statistical analysis. Results: From the cohort of 545 patients, 348 (63.9%) were males and 197 (36.1%) were female patients with overall male to female ratio 1.8:1. The proportion of male patients notified was significantly higher than females (Z = 5.93, P < 0.001). The proportion of extrapulmonary cases was higher in the females (28.4%) as compared with males (17%) (P < 0.001). Males outnumbered females in all the unfavorable outcomes death, default, and failure. The default in males was significant as compared to the females (Z = 5.21, P < 0.001). Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest a sex difference in the notification rate of retreatment cases of TB. Reasons for a better outcome and low notification rate for TB in females are more due to epidemiological factors than a differential access of the health care. Integrated research is required to outline the relative roles played by epidemiology.
Keywords: Gender, India, retreatment, RNTCP TB.