Yield and Efficiency of a Population-Based Mass Tuberculosis Screening Intervention Among Persons With Diabetes In Jiangsu Province, China

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Health Professions


Background: The evidence-base for mass tuberculosis screening among persons with diabetes (PWD) is poor. We evaluated the yield and costs of mass screening among PWD in eastern China.

Methods: We included individuals with type 2 diabetes from 38 townships in Jiangsu Province. Screening comprised of physical examinations, symptom screening, and chest X-rays; smear and culture testing were performed through clinical triage. We assessed the yield and number needed to screen (NNS) to detect 1 tuberculosis case among all PWD, those with symptoms, and with suggestive chest X-rays. Unit costing was collected to estimate screening costs and to calculate cost per case detected. We performed a systematic review of other mass tuberculosis screening programs concentrated on PWD.

Results: Of 89 549 screened PWD, 160 were diagnosed with tuberculosis (179 cases per 100 000 persons; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 153–205). The NNS was 560 (95% CI: 513–606), 248 (95% CI: 217–279), and 36 (95% CI: 24–48) among all participants, with abnormal chest X-rays, and symptoms. The cost per case was high overall (US$13 930) but lower with symptoms (US$1037) and high fasting blood glucose levels (US$6807). From systematic review, the pooled NNS to detect one case among all PWD (regardless of symptoms or chest X-ray results) in high- versus low-burden settings was 93 (95% CI: 70–141) versus 395 (95% CI: 283–649).

Conclusions: A mass tuberculosis screening program focused on PWD was feasible however, the overall yield was low and not cost-efficient. Risk-stratified approaches may be practical among PWD in low- and medium tuberculosis burden settings.

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Clinical Infectious Diseases





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