Risk of tuberculosis in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: A nationwide population-based study in Taiwan

Yi Chen Hsin, Lai Zhen Zhuang, Kuo Wei Yeh, Cheng Wei Chang, Jorng Tzong Horng, Jing Long Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: We aimed to determine the risk of tuberculosis in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in Taiwan. Methods: We used the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) to conduct a nested case-control study. We identified a JIA cohort and matched each JIA child with non-JIA children for comparison. Methotrexate (MTX), tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor administration, and new tuberculosis cases were determined during our study period. To compare tuberculosis (TB) risk among our study groups, Cox proportional regression models were used to determine adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs). Results: We identified 1495 children with JIA and 11592 non-JIA children. Majority (68.7%) children with JIA had not received MTX or TNF inhibitors; 23.9% used MTX without TNF inhibitors, and 7.4% received TNF inhibitors, irrespective of MTX administration. In total, 43 children developed tuberculosis. The overall tuberculosis infection rate for children with JIA was two times higher than that for non-JIA children. Compared with non-JIA children, children with JIA who used MTX without TNF inhibitors revealed a significantly increased of tuberculosis infection rate (aHR = 4.67; 95% CI: 1.65-13.17; P = 0.004). Children with JIA who either received TNF inhibitors or never used MTX and TNF inhibitors revealed a tuberculosis infection rate comparable to that of non-JIA children. Conclusions: Analysis of nationwide data of Taiwan suggested that children with JIA were at higher risk of tuberculosis compared with those without JIA.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0128768
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
StatePublished - 05 06 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Hsin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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