Deaths from tuberculosis: differences between tuberculosis-related and non-tuberculosis-related deaths

Yun Jeong Jeong, Jae Seuk Park, Hyung Woo Kim, Jinsoo Min, Yousang Ko, Jee Youn Oh, Eun Hye Lee, Bumhee Yang, Min Ki Lee, Yun Seong Kim, Jung Hyun Chang, Yangjin Jegal, Sung Soon Lee, Ju Sang Kim, Hyeon Kyoung Koo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Tuberculosis (TB) is a major cause of ill health and one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The first step in developing strategies to reduce TB mortality is to identify the direct causes of death in patients with TB and the risk factors for each cause. Methods: Data on patients with TB systemically collected from the National Surveillance System of South Korea from January 2019 to December 2020 were included in this study. We analyzed the clinical characteristics associated with TB and non-TB-related deaths, including TB-related symptoms, comorbidities, and radiographic and microbiological findings. Results: Of the total of 12,340 patients with TB, 61% were males with a mean age of 61.3 years. During the follow-up period, the overall mortality rate was 10.6%, with TB-related deaths accounting for 21.3% of all TB deaths. The median survival time in the TB-related death group was 22 days. TB-related death was associated with older age, lower body mass index (BMI), dyspnea, fever, general weakness, bilateral radiographic patterns, and acid-fast bacilli (AFB)-positive smears. Non-TB-related deaths were associated with older age, male sex, lower BMI, comorbidities of heart, liver, kidney, and central nervous system (CNS) diseases, CNS TB involvement, the presence of dyspnea, general weakness, and bilateral radiographic patterns. Conclusion: Patients with high-risk TB must be identified through cause-specific mortality analysis, and the mortality rate must be reduced through intensive monitoring of patients with a high TB burden and comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1207284
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Jeong, Park, Kim, Min, Ko, Oh, Lee, Yang, Lee, Kim, Chang, Jegal, Lee, Kim and Koo.


  • cause-specific mortality
  • comorbididites
  • death
  • demographics
  • symptom
  • tuberculosis


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