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Table 1 Health care worker characteristics in three district hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (January 2006 – December 2010) (n = 1,313)

From: Tuberculosis among health care workers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a retrospective cohort analysis

Variable Total Worked in TB ward Did not work in TB ward p-value
n = 1,313 n = 69 n = 1,244
  n (%) n (%) n (%)  
Mean age in years (SD) (n = 1,281) 40.1 (10.2) 39.7 (8.8) 40.1 (10.3) 0.79*
Range 20-70 Range 25-62 Range 20-70
Sex (n = 1,285)     
Female 1,003 (78) 57 (84) 946 (78) 0.24**
Male 282 (22) 11 (16) 271 (22)  
Race (n = 1,307)     
African / black 1264 (97) 69 (100) 1195 (97) 0.48***
Asian 22 (2) 0 22 (2)  
White 18 (1) 0 18 (1)  
Coloured 3 (0) 0 3 (0)  
Occupation^ (n = 1,307)     
Clinical staff 717(55) 56 (81) 661 (53) <0.01***
Support staff 325 (25) 6 (9) 319 (26)  
Administrative 142 (11) 4 (6) 138 (11)  
Paramedical 123 (9) 3 (4) 120 (10)  
Mean duration (years) working in hospital (n = 1,305) 7.4 (7.2) 7.2 (7.2) 7.4 (7.2) 0.82*
Range 0-40 Range 1-32 Range 0-40
Wards where HCW worked     
General ward 261 (20) 17 (25) 244 (20) 0.31**
Pediatric ward 103 (8) 7 (10) 96 (8) 0.47**
Maternity 100 (8) 3 (4) 97 (8) 0.48***
MDR-TB ward 78 (6) 6 (9) 72 (6) 0.32**
Outpatient department 101 (8) 5 (7) 96 (8) 0.89**
Primary health center 106 (8) 4 (6) 102 (8) 0.65***
Throughout hospital 159 (12) 1 (2) 158 (13) <0.01***
Casualty 32 (2) 4 (6) 28 (2) 0.08***
Number of wards HCW worked in     
> 1 ward 201 (15) 36 (52) 165 (13) <0.01**
Diabetes 56 (4) 3 (4) 53 (4) 1.00***
HIV status     
HIV-negative 260 (20) 10 (15) 250 (20) 0.50**
HIV-positive 79 (6) 5 (7) 74 (6)  
HIV status not recorded 974 (74) 54 (78) 920 (74)  
Previously treated for TB (n = 1,000) 93 (9) 5 (8) 88 (9) 0.76**
TB diagnosed between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2010 112 (9) 14 (20) 98 (8) <0.01**
Pulmonary TB 72 (64) 10 (71) 62 (63) 0.74***
Extrapulmonary TB 18 (16) 1 (7) 17 (17) 0.59***
Drug-resistant TB 14 (13) 0 (0.0) 14 (14) 0.31***
  1. *Student’s t-test, SD = standard deviation.
  2. **χ2.
  3. ***Fisher’s exact test.
  4. ^Administrative staff includes finance, human resources, management) data capturers, office clerks and ward clerks; paramedical staff includes lay counselors, radiographers, pharmacists, lab technicians, paramedics, mortuary attendants, dieticians, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists; support staff includes orderlies, cleaners, groundsman, maintenance, kitchen staff, laundry, and security; and clinical staff includes medical doctors/medical officers, nurses (professional nurse, enrolled nurse, nursing assistant and student nurse) and dentists.
  5. Not mutually exclusive – health care workers worked in more than one ward.
  6. TB prior to 2006, prior to starting work in one of the study hospitals, or TB after 2010.