Original Research

Pulmonary impairment after tuberculosis in a South African population

Gibwa Cole, Duncan Miller, Tasneem Ebrahim, Tannith Dreyden, Rory Simpson, Shamila Manie
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 72, No 1 | a307 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v72i1.307 | © 2016 Gibwa Cole, Duncan Miller, Tasneem Ebrahim, Tannith Dreyden, Rory Simpson, Shamila Manie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 November 2015 | Published: 30 June 2016

About the author(s)

Gibwa Cole, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Duncan Miller, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Tasneem Ebrahim, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Tannith Dreyden, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Rory Simpson, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Shamila Manie, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: In South Africa, pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) remains a problem of epidemic proportions. Despite evidence demonstrating persistent lung impairment after PTB cure, few population-based South African studies have investigated this finding. Pulmonary rehabilitation post-cure is not routinely received.

Objectives: To determine the effects of PTB on lung function in adults with current or past PTB. To determine any association between PTB and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods: This study was observational and cross-sectional in design. Participants (n = 55) were included if they were HIV positive on treatment, had current PTB and were on treatment, and/or had previous PTB and completed treatment or if they were healthy adult subjects with no history of PTB. A sample of convenience was used with participants coming from a similar socio-economic background and undergoing spirometry testing. Multiple regression analyses were conducted on each lung function variable.

Results: Compared to normal percentage-predicted values, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1 ), forced vital capacity (FVC) and FEV1 :FVC were significantly reduced in those with current PTB by 23.39%, 15.99% and 6.4%, respectively. Both FEV1 and FVC were significantly reduced in those with past PTB by 11.76% and 10.79%, respectively. There was no association between PTB and COPD – those with previous PTB having a reduced FEV1 :FVC (4.88% less than the norm), which was just short of significance (p = 0.059).

Conclusions: Lung function is reduced both during and after treatment for PTB and these deficits may persist. This has implications regarding the need for pulmonary rehabilitation even after medical cure.

Keywords: Lung function, pulmonary, tuberculosis


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