Since 2018, adolescents have been included as a target group for tuberculosis (TB) surveillance by the WHO. However, they are considered a neglected population, as there are considerable gaps in information about them. We aimed to analyze the risk factors for unfavorable TB treatment outcomes among adolescents in Rio de Janeiro, a Brazilian city with a high burden of TB. This is a retrospective study of adolescents (10-18 years) with TB notified in Rio de Janeiro, from four national database systems, covering 2014-2016. “Extreme vulnerability” was defined as adolescents who presented one of the following characteristics: homelessness, incarceration, tobacco use, illicit drug use, or alcohol abuse. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with favorable (cure/completed treatment) and unfavorable outcomes (lost to follow-up, death, and treatment failure). A total of 725 adolescents with TB were included: 610 (84.1%) were cured, 94 (13%) were lost to follow-up, six (0.8%) died because of TB, 13 (1.8%) died because of other causes, and two (0.3%) failed treatment. Unfavorable outcomes were associated with retreatment (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 4.51; 95% CI: 2.23-9.17), TB-HIV coinfection (aOR: 10.15; 95% CI: 4.15-25.34), extreme vulnerability (aOR: 3.01; 95% CI: 1.70-5.33), and living in the two districts (3.1 and 3.3) with worst conditions: large population and rates of homicides and shantytowns (aOR: 4.11; 95% CI: 1.79-9.46 and aOR: 5.35; 95% CI: 2.20-13.03, respectively). Our findings underscore the need for strengthening early identification and interventions for adolescents at high risk of unfavorable outcomes, especially those living in shantytowns.

References

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