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ARCHIVED - Infectious Diseases News Brief - September 21, 2012

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Nutritional Risk Factors for Tuberculosis Among Adults in the United States, 1971–1992

The risk of developing tuberculosis (TB) may be related to nutritional status. To determine the impact of nutritional status on TB incidence, the authors analyzed data from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I) Epidemiologic Follow-up Study (NHEFS). NHANES I collected information on a probability sample of the US population in 1971–1975. Adults were followed up in 1982–1992. Incident TB cases were ascertained through interviews, medical records, and death certificates. TB incidences were compared across different levels of nutritional status after controlling for potential confounding using proportional hazards regression appropriate to the complex sample design. TB incidence among adults with normal body mass index was 24.7 per 100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval (CI): 13.0, 36.3). In contrast, among persons who were underweight, overweight, and obese, estimated TB incidence rates were 260.2 (95% CI: 98.6, 421.8), 8.9 (95% CI: 2.2, 15.6), and 5.1 (95% CI: 0.0, 10.5) per 100,000 person-years, respectively. Adjusted hazard ratios were 12.43 (95% CI: 5.75, 26.95), 0.28 (95% CI: 0.13, 0.63), and 0.20 (95% CI: 0.07, 0.62), respectively, after controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, and medical characteristics. A low serum albumin level also increased the risk of TB, but low vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and iron status did not. A population's nutritional profile is an important determinant of its TB incidence.

Source: American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 176, Issue 5, Pp. 409-442 External site

Postinfectious Gastrointestinal Disorders Following Norovirus Outbreaks

Background. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 20.9 million norovirus infections annually in the United States. Although the acute disease burden is sizeable, emerging data suggest norovirus may be associated with chronic gastrointestinal problems. We identified known outbreaks in US military recruits and used the Defense Medical Encounter Database (DMED) to identify the risk of new onset functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGD) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Methods. Subjects reporting for care of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) at a military treatment clinic during 3 known norovirus outbreaks were identified. Each AGE subject was matched with up to 4 subjects with unrelated medical encounters. Medical encounter data were analyzed for the duration of military service time (or a minimum of 1 year) to assess for incident FGD or GERD. Relative risks were calculated using regression models.

Results. We identified 1718 subjects from 3 outbreaks. After controlling for important demographic covariates, the incidence of constipation, dyspepsia, and GERD was approximately 1.5-old higher (P < .01) in AGE-exposed subjects than matched subjects. We also noted variability in outcome incidence across outbreaks.

Conclusions. It appears that the risk of dyspepsia, constipation, and GERD are higher among those who have AGE during a confirmed norovirus outbreak. Although these findings need confirmation, they suggest that dysmotility may result subsequent to these infections. If confirmed, the costs and morbidity associated with the chronic consequences of norovirus should be considered.

Source: Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 55, Issue 7, Pp. 915-922 External site