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Unemployment in TB Patients – Ten-Year Observation at Regional Center of Pulmonology in Bydgoszcz, Poland

Grzegorz Przybylski, Anita Dabrowska, Marta Pilaczyńska-Cemel, Dorota Krawiecka

Department of Pulmonary Diseases and Tuberculosis, Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Bydgoszcz, Poland

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:2125-2131

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.890709

Available online:

Published: 2014-11-02

Background: Tuberculosis (TB) affects the poorest of the poor and is an example of a disease that can contribute to the “disease-poverty trap”. The variable epidemiological situation is associated with social risk factors, such as unemployment, which may favor the occurrence of this disease. The aim of this study was to analyze unemployment as a factor that can influence the incidence and course of the disease.
Material and Methods: We analyzed TB patients with confirmed status of employment or unemployment admitted to the Regional Center of Pulmonology in Bydgoszcz in during the years 2001 to 2010. Out of 1130 patients, 604 were unemployed and the other confirmed their employment.
Results: The unemployed patients were mostly single men over age 40, with a low level of education, and living in a city. We observed that the proportions of smokers and alcohol abusers were significantly higher among the unemployed patients. The advanced radiological lesions, smear-positive pulmonary TB, and extra-pulmonary sites were diagnosed significantly more often in this group. The rate of death in the course of hospitalization was significantly higher in the group of unemployed patients.
Conclusions: Unemployment among TB patients is a serious problem. We found that more advanced radiological lesions were associated with more frequent treatment interruptions and a higher rate of death in the course of hospitalization. Increased efforts are needed to reduce and eliminate the problem of unemployment among patients with TB. This may, indirectly, contribute to a decrease in notifications of TB cases and improve treatment outcomes.

Keywords: Adult, Adolescent, Incidence, Poland - epidemiology, Tuberculosis, Pulmonary - epidemiology, Unemployment, young adult