SETTING: National Tuberculosis Programme, Viet Nam, 2008.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the relationship between changes in body weight and tuberculosis (TB) treatment outcome.
METHODS: All treatment cards of patients from a sample of 30 randomly selected treatment units in the country were analysed.
RESULTS: Of 2609 patients, 2506 (96.1%) had a successful treatment outcome. The median body weight of all patients at diagnosis was 46.0 kg (25th and 75th percentiles 41-51). New sputum smear-positive TB patients with a successful treatment outcome gained an average of 2.6 kg during treatment. Patients with weight loss during the first 2 months of treatment were more likely to have an unsuccessful outcome than patients without (OR 4.9, 95%CI 3.0-7.9). Patients weighing <40 kg at treatment start who gained more than 5% of their body weight after 2 months of treatment had a significantly smaller risk of an unsuccessful treatment outcome than patients who did not (OR 0.2, 95%CI 0.05-0.96).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients failing to gain weight or losing weight, particularly during the first 2 months of treatment, require particular attention, as they appear to be at an increased risk of unsuccessful treatment outcome.