[Tuberculosis in elderly persons].
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to compare the epidemiology, clinical features and clinical course of primary presentations with pulmonary tuberculosis occurring in older and younger patients.
We undertook a prospective, comparative study in the Pneumology clinic of the National University Hospital of Fann in Dakar, from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006, collecting data on all patients presenting with a first episode of bacterially confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis.
We studied 187 first presentations with confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis including 12.8% (n=24) elderly (>55 years) subjects (20 men and four women) and 87.2% (n=163) younger subjects (105 men and 58 women). In the older subjects, patients were more commonly men (sex-ratio: 5), without formal education, and working in the primary or informal sector. Comorbidities were more frequent in the older group, including smoking (P=0.002), alcohol consumption (P=0.01), diabetes (37.5%) (P<0.005) and obesity with BMI superior than 20 in 25%. Pulmonary shadowing was common (41.7% of the cases), P=0.008 and generally bilateral P=0.0001 with cavitation, but this observation was not statistically significant.
Complications were more frequent in the older patient (20.8%), as was mortality (29.3%, P=0.000) and rate of clinical improvement in response to treatment was less satisfactory (50%) there.