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Tuberculosis (TB) has been a major health problem globally since ages, and even today, it is a major cause of morbidity in millions of people each year. In 2015 alone, TB accounted for about 1.4 million deaths globally, with India carrying the biggest burden of the disease. The physical environment of the household, an individual living in, has a significant influence on the incidence of TB. Thus, an understanding of the socio-economic, demographic and environmental factors that individuals are exposed to is of importance. The objective of present study is to examine the association of household environment with the prevalence of Tuberculosis in India.
The study utilizes data from the fourth round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), 2015-16, which was collected from self-reported information pertaining to Tuberculosis in the household questionnaire. The specific question was, “Does any usual resident of your household suffer from tuberculosis?” the response to which helped in the detection of Tuberculosis. Binary Logistic regression was performed from which appropriate inferences are drawn on the association of household environment with Tuberculosis.
Prevalence of TB was found to be the highest among elderly people (0.9%), no education (0.4%) and people belonging to the poorest wealth quintile (0.53%). Family members who were regularly (daily) exposed to smoke (second-hand smoke) inside the house were more prone to getting tuberculosis (OR = 1.49; CI = 1.39-1.61) as compared with households where people do not smoke inside the house. Further, households having a finished wall (OR = 0.7; CI = 0.6-0.8) are less likely to get TB than the households with mud walls. Households that shared their toilets with other households are more likely to get hold of Tuberculosis (OR = 1.2; CI = 1.1-1.4).
Results strongly suggest that a contaminated household environment increases the risk of tuberculosis in India. There are multiple risk factors that are strongly associated with Tuberculosis: smoke inside house, type of cooking fuel, separate kitchen, floor, roofing and wall material, number of persons sleeping in a room, sharing toilet and potable water with other households; and individual characteristics such as age, sex, educational attainment, marital status, place of residence and wealth index.