Objectives: To determine incidence of cases, demographics, clinical presentation, diagnostic methods and outcomes of cases of tuberculosis (TB) in The Bahamas, 2014–2016.
Methods: A retrospective chart review of cases of TB diagnosed at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Nassau, Bahamas. One hundred eighty-nine cases of active TB were diagnosed between 2014 and 2016, and all cases were evaluated for demographics, risk factors, clinical manifestation, method of diagnosis, symptoms and treatment outcomes.
Results: Of the 189 cases of notified TB between 2014 and 2016, 46 were reported in 2014, 60 in 2015 and 83 in 2016. The mean age was 37.96 (± 18.20) years old. One hundred sixtyfour (86.8%) presented with symptoms, 19 (10.1%) were diagnosed by routine screening and 6 (3.2%) cases were diagnosed by contact tracing. One hundred nine (59.9%) were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) negative and 73 (40.1%) were HIV positive. One hundred fortyfour (76.2%) presented with cough, 84 (44.7%) weight loss, 80 (42.3%) fever, 44 (23.3%) night sweats, 43 (22.8%) chills, 32 (16.9%) fatigue and 25 (13.2%) haemoptysis. One hundred twenty-six (66.7%) completed the full course of antibiotic therapy, 29(15.3%) patients expired before completing treatment and 18 (9.5%) of patients defaulted.
Conclusion: Human immunodeficiency virus is a major risk factor for TB in The Bahamas, and it is advised that all patients diagnosed with TB be tested for HIV. We also advise screening HIV positive patients for TB. Screening other high-risk groups such as migrant populations would also reduce the amount of latent TB cases, which may progress to active TB.