Tuberculosis related disability: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Kefyalew Addis Alene, Kinley Wangdi, Samantha Colquhoun, Kudakwashe Chani, Tauhid Islam, Kalpeshsinh Rahevar, Fukushi Morishita, Anthony Byrne, Justin Clark, Kerri Viney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The sustainable development goals aim to improve health for all by 2030. They incorporate ambitious goals regarding tuberculosis (TB), which may be a significant cause of disability, yet to be quantified. Therefore, we aimed to quantify the prevalence and types of TB-related disabilities. Methods: We performed a systematic review of TB-related disabilities. The pooled prevalence of disabilities was calculated using the inverse variance heterogeneity model. The maps of the proportions of common types of disabilities by country income level were created. Results: We included a total of 131 studies (217,475 patients) that were conducted in 49 countries. The most common type of disabilities were mental health disorders (23.1%), respiratory impairment (20.7%), musculoskeletal impairment (17.1%), hearing impairment (14.5%), visual impairment (9.8%), renal impairment (5.7%), and neurological impairment (1.6%). The prevalence of respiratory impairment (61.2%) and mental health disorders (42.0%) was highest in low-income countries while neurological impairment was highest in lower middle-income countries (25.6%). Drug-resistant TB was associated with respiratory (58.7%), neurological (37.2%), and hearing impairments (25.0%) and mental health disorders (26.0%), respectively. Conclusions: TB-related disabilities were frequently reported. More uniform reporting tools for TB-related disability and further research to better quantify and mitigate it are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number203
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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