TB a major cause of maternal mortality in India: NCBI

TB a major cause of maternal mortality in India: NCBI


Tuberculosis (TB) is a major cause of maternal mortality, leading to deaths in the 15-45 age group, says a National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) report.

Doctors say TB during pregnancy causes a six-fold increase in prenatal deaths and poses a two-fold risk of premature birth and low birth rates apart from resulting in infant mortality.

Anyone diagnosed with TB needs treatment to keep the infection at bay, and pregnant women are no exception. Treatment gets trickier during pregnancy as some common medications can harm developing fetuses and breastfeeding newborns.

Dr M Manjula, joint director (TB programme), said TB does compromise a pregnant woman’s health which may lead to complications and eventually death.

According to Dr Sachin Kumar, senior consultant of pulmonology at Sakra World Hospital, tuberculosis is causing one in every three deaths in India. “With the social stigma attached to the condition, cases go unreported. In general, it’s higher in youth, in the bracket of 20-40 years. Especially in Bengaluru, young people ignore their health, food habits or sleep. This increases the risk of tuberculosis,” the doctor added.

IT professionals and TB 

Recently, a young IT professional with an erratic work schedule, coughed blood in the emergency room of the hospital. He had been neglecting the cough as a minor allergy.

He underwent a procedure called ‘Bronchial Artery Embolization’ to examine bronchial arteries (arteries in the lungs), which were bleeding causing haemoptysis (coughing up of blood). Doctors treated him for bleeding and he was later administered appropriate TB medicines.