The Epidemiology of Skeletal Tuberculosis in Northeast of Iran: A Review of 229 Cases

Document Type: Original Article(s)

Authors

1 Infectious Diseases Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Chemistry, University of Mazandaran (MUZ), Mazandaran, Iran

4 Infectious Diseases Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran; and Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background: The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) has increased in recent years in both developed and developing countries. Skeletal tuberculosis occurs in approximately 1% of patients with tuberculosis. The present study aimed to evaluate the epidemiology of skeletal tuberculosis in Golestan province in northeastern Iran during 2005-2014.Methods: In the present retrospective study, the epidemiology of skeletal tuberculosis was studied in 229 skeletal tuberculosis patients who were diagnosed during 2005-2014. The prevalence rate of skeletal TB has been reported according to demographic and clinical features.Results: Over the 10-year period of this study, 229 known skeletal TB cases were identified in which 56.3% were male. The mean age of the patients was 44.0±17.7 (range 7-87). All of the patients were new cases. Most of the patients (56.8%) were from the rural areas and most were diagnosed by the private healthcare system (63.8%). The highest rate of skeletal TB was seen in 2013 (15.3%). Spinal TB (81.2%) scored the highest rate and pain (96.9%) was the most prevalent symptom of skeletal TB. Conclusion: The findings suggest that skeletal tuberculosis in northeastern Iran should always be considered as a differential diagnosis for fever and pain on the spinal column. Due to the high level of tuberculosis in the Golestan province (Iran), further research on continued awareness of skeletal TB is stressed.

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