Aerodigestive tract, lung and haematological cancers are risk factors for tuberculosis: An 8-year population-based study

C. Y. Wu, H. Y. Hu, Cheng-Yun Pu, Nicole Huang, H. C. Shen, Chung Pin Li*, Yiing-Jenq Chou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


SETTING: The deterioration of immunity in cancer patients may be associated with a higher incidence of tuberculosis (TB). OBJECTIVE: Despite several previous studies on cancer and TB, no population-based investigation has been published. We performed a nationwide population-based study to investigate the incidence of active TB among cancer patients, and the cancer-type specific risk factors related to TB. DESIGNS: This nationwide population-based retrospective cohort study was based on data obtained from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database. A total of 16 487 cancer patients and 65 948 controls matched for age and sex were recruited. RESULTS: The incidence of TB per 100 000 person-years was 339 in the cancer patients and 202 in the controls, which gives a crude incidence rate ratio of 1.68 (95%CI 1.42-1.98). The hazard ratio (HR) was 1.67 (95%CI 1.42-1.96) after adjusting for age, sex and c omorbidity. Cox regression showed that cancers of the aero digestive tract, including oral, nasopharyngeal and oesophageal and lung cancer (HR 3.09, 95%CI 2.42-3.94) and h aematological cancers, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukaemia (HR 3.22, 95%CI 1.98-5.22), were significant risk factors for TB. CONCLUSION: Cancer patients have a higher incidence of TB than controls. Patients with aerodigestive tract, lung and haematological cancers are especially vulnerable to TB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Aerodigestive tract
  • Cancer
  • Haematological
  • Lung
  • Tuberculosis


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