||Norregaard J, Grode G & Viskum K
||Restrictive treatment policy for pulmonary tuberculosis
in a low prevalence country.
||EUR RESPIR J 1993, 6, 23-26.
In Denmark, treatment of TB is generally recommended
only if the diagnosis is confirmed bacteriologically. This policy
may cause a delay in treatment if the patients are smear negative.
The duration of the treatment delay, and whether the delay would
cause any serious health problems for the individual or risk of
contact infections, in a retrospective examination of 324 cases
of pulmonary TB was investigated. The mean treatment delay was longer
in the oldest age group. Concerning death due to delay, there was
no risk for those patients who were not weakened by other disease
or old age. Only 11 patients (3.6 percent) over the age 10 years
were treated without bacteriological confirmation (1 percent for
Danes). The infection risk from the smear- negative but culture-positive
patients was minimal as only one subject was definitely infected
from a smear-negative patient. However, a risk of transmission exists
from patients who are initially culture-negative but later become
smear-positive. In conclusion, the epidemiological and individual
risks were sufficiently low to continue the rather restrictive treatment
|KEYWORDS: HEALTH POLICY; DENMARK.