Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Setting: Kenya, 2012–2015

Objective: To explore whether there is a gender difference in all-cause mortality among smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB)/ HIV co-infected patients treated for tuberculosis (TB) between 2012 and 2015 in Kenya.

Design: Retrospective cohort of 9,026 smear-positive patients aged 15–49 years. All-cause mortality during TB treatment was the outcome of interest. Time to start of antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation was considered as a proxy for CD4 cell count. Those who took long to start of ART were assumed to have high CD4 cell count.

Results: Of the 9,026 observations analysed, 4,567(51%) and 4,459(49%) were women and men, respectively. Overall, out of the 9,026 patients, 8,154 (90%) had their treatment outcome as cured, the mean age in years (SD) was 33.3(7.5) and the mean body mass index (SD) was 18.2(3.4). Men were older (30% men’ vs 17% women in those ≥40 years, p = <0.001) and had a lower BMI <18.5 (55.3% men vs 50.6% women, p = <0.001). Men tested later for HIV: 29% (1,317/4,567) of women HIV tested more than 3 months prior to TB treatment, as compared to 20% (912/4,459) men (p<0.001). Mortality was higher in men 11% (471/4,459) compared to women 9% (401/4,567, p = 0.004). There was a 17% reduction in the risk of death among women (adjusted HR 0.83; 95% CI 0.72–0.96; p = 0.013). Survival varied by age-groups, with women having significantly better survival than men, in the age-groups 40 years and over (log-rank p = 0.006).

Conclusion: Women with sputum positive PTB/HIV co-infection have a significantly lower risk of all-cause mortality during TB treatment compared to men. Men were older, had lower BMI and tested later for HIV than women.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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