European burden of nontuberculosis mycobacterium pulmonary disease revealed

Nontuberculosis mycobacterium pulmonary disease (NTM-PD) may have a high mortality and financial burden in Europe, according to new research.

The study, published recently in the European Respiratory Journal, is the first European study to investigate the burden of NTM-PD; an emerging global health concern, and a growing diagnostic and clinical challenge. It has been previously reported that the incidence, prevalence, hospitalization rate and mortality rates of NTM-PD have increased worldwide in recent decades, making this investigation timely.

The researchers utilized a sample of 7, 073, 357 anonymized individuals covered by German public statutory health insurances to identify patients suffering from NTM-PD. In total, 125 newly diagnosed NTM-PD patients were identified and compared with 1250 controls matched by age, gender and Charlson Comorbidity Index.

The team followed both groups over the course of 39 months, discovering that the all-cause mortality rate for those diagnosed with NTM-PD was 22.4%, almost four times higher than the matched control group.

In addition, the researchers discovered the financial burden of NTM-PD patients was significantly higher, at an average of €39,559.60 over the 3-year period compared with €10,006.71 in the control group. Hospitalizations were observed to be 3-times higher in NTM-PD patients, accounting for the majority of this difference, with other contributing factors including drug costs.

The team highlighted that despite commonly-held perceptions about NTM-PD being rare, efforts to heighten awareness of appropriate therapy are urgently needed.

Author Michael Loebinger  (Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK) commented:  “Although NTM-PD is considered rare, these findings highlight that the burden of the disease is high. Treatment can be hard to tolerate and may be unsuccessful, making treatment decisions complex. To help with this challenge, the British Thoracic Society will be releasing new guidelines this year.”

Want to find out more? Read our report on the recent state-of-the-art symposium on NTM-PD covering diagnosis, biology and epidemiology.

Source: Diel R, Jacob J, Lampenius N et al. Burden of non-tuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease in Germany. Eur. Resp. J. 49, 1602109 (2017)



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