Tuberculosis diagnostic delay and therapy outcomes of non-national migrants in Tel Aviv, 1998-2008

Z. Mor*, H. Kolb, M. Lidji, G. B. Migliori, A. Leventhal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-national migrants have limited access to medical therapy. This study compares diagnostic delay and treatment outcomes of non-insured non-national migrants (NINNM) with insured Israeli citizens (IC) in the Tel Aviv tuberculosis (TB) clinic between 1998 and 2008. Patient delay was the time from symptoms onset to doctor's visit, while system delay was measured from doctor visit to anti-TB therapy administration. We randomly sampled 222 NINNM and 265 IC. NINNM were younger than IC, had lower male to female ratio and fewer smoked. They had less drug/ alcohol abuse, more cavitations on chest radiography, longer patient and shorter system delay. Mean patient and system delays of all patients were 25±14 and 79±42 days, respectively. In multivariate analysis, being NINNM, asymptomatic or smoking predicted longer patient delay, while being asymptomatic or having additional co-morbidity predicted longer system delay. Treatment success in sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB NINNM was 81% and 95.7% in IC (p=0.01). Treatment success was not associated with patient or system delay. In multivariate analysis, work security and treatment adherence predicted treatment success. NINNM had longer patient delay and worse therapy outcome, while IC had longer system delay. Both delays should be reduced. NINNM should be informed that TB therapy is free and unlinked with deportation.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
StatePublished - 21 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


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