Risk factors associated with tuberculosis recurrence in South Korea determined using a nationwide cohort study

Hin Moi Youn, Moon Kyung Shin, Dawoon Jeong, Hee Jin Kim, Hongjo Choi, Young Ae Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Prevention of tuberculosis (TB) recurrence is an important issue in TB control. South Korea, a country with a high average income, has been challenged with an intermediate burden of TB. We aimed to estimate the TB recurrence rate after successful completion of the first anti-TB chemotherapy, and to identify the risk factors for the TB recurrence by focusing on co-morbidities and behavioral factors. Methods This is a population-based cohort study using data from the National Health Insurance (NHI) database between 2002 and 2013. Newly diagnosed TB patients were identified using the classification of disease codes and prescription records. Final analytical subjects included people who successfully completed the first anti-TB chemotherapy. The primary outcome measure was recurrent TB 6-month after the first treatment completion. A set of associated risk factors, including demographic characteristics, co-morbidities, and health behavior factors were analyzed using Cox regression analysis. Results Among 5,446 TB patients, 2,226 (40.1%) completed the first anti-TB treatment. During the follow-up period, 150 (6.7%) patients had TB recurrence, and the crude recurrent rate was 22.6 per 1000 person-years. The majority of recurrence cases (89%) occurred within the first 2-year period. The major findings show that participants who are male (adjusted HR (aHR) = 1.81, at a 95% CI, range: 1.11–2.94), older in age (aHR = 1.07, at a 95% CI, range: 1.00–1.14), have a lower income (aHR = 1.96, at a 95% CI, range: 1.10–3.48) and who are underweight (aHR = 1.92, at a 95% CI, range 1.15–3.20) were at higher risks for TB recurrence. Conclusion People who have risk factors for recurrent TB need to improve treatment compliance through more effective TB management, and follow-up observation for one or two years after the treatment completion.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0268290
JournalPloS one
Issue number6 June
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI),funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare,REpublic of Korea (grant number:HI19C1235).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Youn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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