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Scientific Highlights: Saturday 2 November

02 Nov 2019

On the final day of the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health, the need for greater TB control in prisons, increased socioeconomic support for TB households, and more research into stop smoking strategies.

Read more about these highlights below.

REVIEW OF DATA SHOWS NEED FOR GREATER TB CONTROL IN PRISONS

Global Burden of Tuberculosis In Incarcerated Populations: A Meta-Analysis and Statistical Model

In-depth analysis has revealed the first global estimates as to how many prisoners develop TB.

The study has evaluated that over 130,000 prisoners develop TB globally each year and that it is a major cause of ill health and death among this population. It also highlighted that the likelihood of contracting the disease among prisoners is many fold higher than the general population.

The study showed that the majority of TB cases in prison occurred in the Western Pacific (41 percent) and Americas region (21 percent) and calls for an increased focus on TB control strategies in prisons to address the excessive burden in this population and to help achieve global TB reduction targets.

NEW RESEARCH MAKES THE CASE FOR SOCIOECONOMIC SUPPORT FOR TB HOUSEHOLDS

Socioeconomic support to improve tuberculosis screening and preventive therapy completion in tuberculosis affected households in Peru: a cluster randomised trial

Research conducted in Peru has provided stark evidence that providing socioeconomic support to people living in TB affected households improves both TB care and prevention.

The Community Randomised Evaluation of a Socioeconomic Intervention to Prevent Tuberculosis (CRESIPT) study assessed the socioeconomic support packages given to TB affected households in 32 desert and shantytown and urban communities.

Those receiving a support package – which included home visits, TB clubs giving information, support and assessment of TB risk, as well as financial support  –   were compared with similar communities which were not receiving this level of support.

The results were clear, with those receiving support more likely to attend a screening consultation in health posts, provide at least one sputum sample for testing, and have a chest X-ray. The odds of completing preventive therapy were three times higher among contacts aged under 15 years and 18 times higher among those aged 15 years and up.

REVIEW CALLS FOR MORE RESEARCH INTO STOP SMOKING STRATEGIES

Smoking cessation interventions in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review

A review into the effectiveness of smoking cessation strategies and outcomes in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) has called for further research.

The analysis examined a number of studies which took place between 2000 and 2018 and consulted experts in tobacco addiction research. Quit rates ranged from 2.6 percent to 77.5 percent and were highest in studies in specialised clinics and lowest among lifestyle interventions.

The research found that integrating smoking cessation into existing specialised clinics yields best cessation outcomes but reaches few people, while integration of cessation support into healthcare systems in LMICs appears feasible but outcomes vary depending on the strategy used. The small number of studies in LMICs and inconclusive evidence regarding the addition of pharmacotherapy warrants further research.

Eighty percent of the world’s 1.1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries  but most of the research into smoking cessation, which is is vital to reducing tobacco related morbidity and mortality, takes place in high income countries.

Note: Summaries are based on abstracts – final data presented at the conference may change

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