Smoking in tuberculosis patients increases the risk of infection in their contacts

Pere Godoy, J. A. Caylà, G. Carmona, N. Camps, J. Álvarez, M. Alsedà, S. Minguell, A. Rodés, N. Altet, J. M. Pina, I. Barrabeig, À Orcau, I. Parron, J. March, N. Follia, M. Sabater, À Domínguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To determine the risk of latent tuberculous infection (LTBI) among contacts of smokers with tuberculosis (TB). METHODS: A study was conducted to determine the prevalence of LTBI among contacts of TB cases aged >14 years in Catalonia, Spain. A survey was carried out for each TB case and their contacts. LTBI was diagnosed using the tuberculin skin test (≥5 mm). The risk of LTBI associated with smoking was determined by multivariate logistic regression analysis, with adjusted odds ratio (aOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI). RESULTS: The smoking prevalence among TB cases was 40.7% (439/1079). The prevalence of LTBI among their contacts was 29.7% (2281/7673). It was higher among contacts of smoking index cases (35.3%) than among those of non-smokers (25.7%). Smoking was independently associated with an increased risk of LTBI among contacts (aOR 1.5, 95%CI 1.3-1.7), and was estimated to be responsible for 12.8% of infections. CONCLUSIONS: Index case smoking increases the risk of LTBI and should be systematically investigated. A reduction in smoking could lower the risk of infection substantially.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-776
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • Contact tracing
  • Latent tuberculosis infection
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking
  • Transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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