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Open Access Open Badges Research article

The impact of smoking on adherence to treatment for latent tuberculosis infection

Mélanie Lavigne1, Isabelle Rocher2, Colin Steensma1 and Paul Brassard1*

Author Affiliations

1 McGill University Health Center – Division of Clinical Epidemiology – Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Canada

2 McGill University Health Center – Montreal Chest Institute, Montreal, Canada

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BMC Public Health 2006, 6:66  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-66

Published: 14 March 2006



Studies have shown an association between smoking and tuberculosis (TB) infection, disease and TB-related mortality. We hypothesized that smokers with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) are less likely to comply with their LTBI treatment regimen, thus increasing their risk of developing active disease. We thus documented the impact of smoking on adherence to LTBI treatment.


Between 1998 and 2000, a convenience sample of patients undergoing treatment for LTBI completed a questionnaire on smoking status. Level of adherence to LTBI treatment was tested for associations with socio-demographic profile, and smoking status


320 patients were recruited, and 302 (94%) completed the questionnaire. Smoking prevalence was 21%. 72% of patients were adherent to LTBI treatment. Women (OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.2–3.3) and non-smokers (OR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.0–3.3) were associated with adherence to LTBI treatment. Only gender was found as an independent predictor of adherence after adjusting for age and smoking status (OR = 1.9; 95% CI: 1.06–3.3).


Males and smokers need to have extra supervision to ensure compliance with LTBI treatment.