Aspects of tuberculosis in the elderly

Izaura Luzia Silvério Freire, Fernanda Rafaela dos Santos, Luzia Clara Cunha de Menezes, Anderson Brito de Medeiros, Juliana Teixeira Jales Menescal Pinto, Bárbara Coeli Oliveira da Silva


Tuberculosis is an infectious-contagious disease, whose etiological agent is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and currently stands as the second leading cause of death from infectious diseases in the world. This study aims to describe its clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects in the elderly. This is an exploratory-descriptive cross-sectional study with a quantitative approach, developed in a Sanitary District in Natal/RN, from January 2010 to December 2015. Among the 94 participants, the majority were males (51.1%) aged between 60 and 69. The pulmonary form of the disease was predominant (86.2%) in the studied group and most of the cases were new (59.6%). The treatment was self-administered (52.1%) and completed within the appropriate period (57.4%). The tuberculin test was not undergone by the majority of the elderly (76.6%), neither was histopathology (86.2%), while chest X-ray was suggestive of tuberculosis (72.3%). It was observed that the elderly did not undergo the first bacilloscopy (59.5%) and, out of those who were subjected to the second, it was positive for most (54.2%). It is worth mentioning that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus serology was not carried out in 54.2% of the senior patients with tuberculosis. Older individuals make up a risk population group and should be given special attention from health professionals.


elderly people; tuberculosis; drug treatment compliance.

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ISSN 1679-9291 (impresso) e ISSN 1807-8648 (on-line) e-mail:


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