, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 75-80
Date: 12 Feb 2014

Change in Demographic Picture and Increase of Drug Resistance in Pulmonary Tuberculosis in a 10-Year Interval in Taiwan

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Background: This study was designed to compare the change in demographics, medical characteristics and drug resistance of patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) betwen two time periods within a 10-year interval.

Patients and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical records and chest radiographs of 1,826 patients with active pulmonary TB for two time periods from 1992–1996 (n = 884) and 1982–1986 (n = 942).

Results: The mean age was significantly higher and there were significantly more female patients in the 1992–1996 period than in the 1982–1986 period. In the 1992–1996 period, there were significantly fewer patients with the main complaints of cough, fever and body weight loss at the time of diagnosis but significantly more patients who had diabetes mellitus, obstructive airway disease, cancer other than lung cancer or who were on corticosteroid therapy. During the 1992–1996 period, single drug resistance against isoniazid (INH), rifampin (RIF) and streptomycin increased by 0.5%, 3% and 0.7%, respectively. Multiple drug resistance against both INH and RIF increased by 2% in the 1992–1996 period. A history of pulmonary TB and extensive pulmonary involvement were two significant factors for drug resistance against INH, RIF or ethambutol (EMB).

Conclusion: In the 1992–1996 period, the mean age of patients and number of female patients significantly increased. There were more patients with diabetes mellitus, obstructive airway diseases, cancer other than lung cancer and prior steroid therapy but fewer patients presenting with classic clinical symptoms of TB. In consideration of the high prevalence and increasing rate of single and multiple drug resistance, we recommend an initial four-drug regimen (INH, RIF, EMB, pyrazinamide) for the treatment of pulmonary TB in Taiwan.

Received: October 2, 2000 · Revision accepted: December 27, 2001