Objective: The proportion of COVID-19 patients having active pulmonary tuberculosis, and its impact on COVID-19 related patient outcomes, is not clear. We conducted this systematic review to evaluate the proportion of patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis among COVID-19 patients, and to assess if comorbid pulmonary tuberculosis worsens clinical outcomes in these patients. Methods: We queried the PubMed and Embase databases for studies providing data on (a) proportion of COVID-19 patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis or (b) severe disease, hospitalization, or mortality among COVID-19 patients with and without active pulmonary tuberculosis. We calculated the proportion of tuberculosis patients, and the relative risk (RR) for each reported outcome of interest. We used random-effects models to summarize our data. Results: We retrieved 3,375 citations, and included 43 studies, in our review. The pooled estimate for proportion of active pulmonary tuberculosis was 1.07% (95% CI 0.81%-1.36%). COVID-19 patients with tuberculosis had a higher risk of mortality (summary RR 1.93, 95% CI 1.56-2.39, from 17 studies) and for severe COVID-19 disease (summary RR 1.46, 95% CI 1.05-2.02, from 20 studies), but not for hospitalization (summary RR 1.86, 95% CI 0.91-3.81, from four studies), as compared to COVID-19 patients without tuberculosis. Conclusion: Active pulmonary tuberculosis is relatively common among COVID-19 patients and increases the risk of severe COVID-19 and COVID-19-related mortality.

  • All age groups
  • Risk factor
  • COVID-19