For a study of fatality in pulmonary tuberculosis in England and Wales, a sample (n = 1222) of patients notified in 1983 as having tuberculosis confined to the lungs was selected and their mortality up to the time of finishing chemotherapy calculated. During that time 158 patients died, a case fatality of 12.9%. Stratification by age and radiographic extent of disease confirmed these as important predictors of death. Comparison with a referent population showed that the all cause mortality among people with pulmonary tuberculosis was 10 times greater than that of the age and sex matched general population. This ratio fell with increasing age and with extent of disease. Coefficients derived from a logistic regression analysis allowed probability of death during chemotherapy of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis to be estimated.
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