TB-HIV co-infection in the Netherlands: Estimating prevalence and under-reporting in national registration databases using a capture-recapture analysis

F. van Leth, K. Evenblij, F. Wit, A. Kiers, H. Sprenger, M. Verhagen, M. Hillebregt, N. Kalisvaart, H. Schimmel, A. Verbon

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Background Knowledge of the HIV status in patients with tuberculosis (TB) and vice versa is crucial for proper individual patient management, while knowledge of the prevalence of co-infection guides preventive and therapeutic strategies. The aim of the study was to assess if national disease databases on TB and HIV are adequate sources to provide this information. Methods A two way capture-recapture analysis to assess the completeness of the registers, and to obtain the prevalence of TB-HIV co-infection in the Netherlands in the years 2002-2012. Results HIV testing was performed in less than 50% of the patients with TB. Of the 932 TB-HIV infected patients, just 293 (31.4%) were registered in both registers. Under-reporting of TB-HIV co-infection ranged from 50% to 70% in the national TB register, and from 31% to 37% in the HIV database. Prevalence of TB-HIV co-infection in the Netherlands in 2012 was 7.1% (95% CI 6.0% to 8.3%), which was more than double of the prevalence estimated from the national TB database. Conclusions TB-HIV co-infection is markedly underreported in national disease databases. There is an urgent need for improved registration and preferably a routine data exchange between the two surveillance systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-560
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

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