Oeltmann and colleagues1(p189) report that “substance abuse is the most commonly reported behavioral risk factor among patients with TB [tuberculosis] in the United States.” The authors say that they controlled for other risk factors but did not look at one important behavioral risk factor: smoking. Previous studies have shown an association between smoking and tuberculosis in other countries.2,3 It is well known that persons with substance use disorders have higher smoking rates than the general population.4 I wonder whether the authors had access to data on smoking rates; if so, it would be helpful to see if this would influence their findings. Correspondence: Dr Rastegar, Division of Chemical Dependence, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, 5200 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224 (email@example.com). References 1. Oeltmann JEKammerer JSPevzner ESMoonan PK Tuberculosis and substance abuse in the United States, 1997-2006. Arch Intern Med 2009;169 (2) 189- 197PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 2. Leung CCLi TLam TH et al. Smoking and tuberculosis among the elderly in Hong Kong. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2004;170 (9) 1027- 1033PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 3. Gajalakshmi VPeto RKanaka SJha P Smoking and mortality from tuberculosis and other diseases in India: retrospective study of 43000 adult male deaths and 35000 controls. Lancet 2003;362 (9383) 507- 515PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 4. Grant BFHasin DSChou SPStinson FSDawson DA Nicotine dependence and psychiatric disorders in the United States: results from the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2004;61 (11) 1107- 1115PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Archives of Internal Medicine – American Medical Association
Published: Jul 13, 2009
Keywords: substance abuse,tuberculosis
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