The low incidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and lack of adequate controls have prevented researchers from estimating tuberculosis risk in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients.
Dr Ahn and colleagues from South Korea evaluated the risk of incident tuberculosis among IBD patients.
Using the 2011–2013 data of the South Korean National Health Insurance (NHI) system, the researchers calculated the incidence rates, standardized incidence ratio, and number needed to screen for incident tuberculosis in IBD patients compared to the general population in terms of subtype, age, gender and IBD medications.
The incidence rates, standardized incidence ratio and number needed to screen for tuberculosis in IBD patients were 224 per 100,000 person-years, 2.6 and 447, respectively.
The team found that tuberculosis incidence rates in Crohn's disease (CD) patients was significantly higher than that in ulcerative colitis (UC) patients.
|The incidence rates for tuberculosis in IBD patients were 224 per 100,000 person-years|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The standardized incidence ratio and number needed to screen for tuberculosis among CD patients were 4.00 and 604, respectively.
The researchers found that those among UC patients were 1.95 and 294.
The team noted that the tuberculosis incidence rates in IBD patients did not differ significantly by age or gender.
The tuberculosis incidence rates among IBD patients prescribed 5-ASA, corticosteroids, immunomodulators and anti-TNF-α were 144, 209, 285 and 554 per 100,000 person-years, respectively.
Among IBD patients treated using anti-TNF-α, the tuberculosis incidence rate was significantly higher than that among all IBD patients.
The standardized incidence ratio and number needed to screen for tuberculosis were 6.5 and 181, respectively.
Dr Ahn's team comments, "Clinicians should be aware of the increased risk of active tuberculosis in patients with IBD who are receiving anti-TNF-α therapy."