Tuberculosis during pregnancy in the United States: Racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy complications and in-hospital death

Document Type


Publication Date



Background: Despite decades of efforts to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) in the United States (US), TB still contributes to adverse ill health, especially among racial/ethnic minorities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, about 87% of the TB cases reported in the US were among racial and ethnic minorities. The objective of this study is to explore the risks for pregnancy complications and in-hospital death among mothers diagnosed with TB across racial/ethnic groups in the US. Methods: This retrospective cohort study utilized National Inpatient Sample data for all inpatient hospital discharges in the US. We analyzed pregnancy-related hospitalizations and births in the US from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2014 (n = 57,393,459). Multivariable logistic regression was applied to generate odds ratios for the association between TB status and the primary study outcomes (i.e., pregnancy complications and in-hospital death) across racial/ethnic categories. Results: The prevalence of TB was 7.1 per 100,000 pregnancy-related hospitalizations. The overall prevalence of pregnancy complications was 80% greater among TB-infected mothers than their uninfected counterparts. Severe pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, placenta previa, postpartum hemorrhage, sepsis and anemia occurred with greater frequency among mothers with a TB diagnosis than those without TB, irrespective of race/ethnicity. The rate of in-hospital death among TB patients was 37 times greater among TB-infected than in non-TB infected mothers (468.8 per 100,000 versus 12.6 per 100,000). A 3-fold increased risk of inhospital death was observed among black TB-negative mothers compared to their white counterparts. No racial/ethnic disparities in maternal morbidity or in-hospital death were found among mothers with TB disease. Conclusion: TB continues to be an important cause of morbidity and mortality among pregnant women in the US. Resources to address TB disease should also target pregnant women, especially racial/ethnic minorities who bear the greatest burden of the disease.