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Table 3 Risk factors for diagnostic delay

From: A systematic review of delay in the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis

Risk factor Positive association with risk Negative association with risk
HIV [10] [11-13]
Coexistence of chronic cough and/or other lung diseases [12, 14-16] [7]
Negative sputum smear [12, 19, 20] [15]
Extrapulmonary TB [7, 17, 18]  
Rural residence [5, 11, 14, 16, 23, 25, 29-32]  
Low access to healthcare (geographical or socio-psychological barriers) [6, 8, 10, 14, 18, 23, 25, 27-30, 34, 42, 47, 48, 50]  
Initial visit to government low-level healthcare facility [5, 6, 9-11, 23, 26, 32-34] [35]
Initial visit to traditional or unqualified practitioner [9, 10, 14, 26-29, 32, 36, 37]  
Initial visit to private practitioner [9, 10, 14, 26-29, 32, 36, 37]  
Initial visit to tertiary-level services/hospital [11] [13, 23, 38, 39]
Old age [5, 12, 14-16, 19, 23, 24, 26, 38, 40, 41] [18, 35]
Poverty [7, 20, 21, 27, 28, 34, 37, 40, 41, 47, 48, 54, 56] [18]
Female sex [8, 10, 11, 14-16, 20, 22, 31, 33, 39, 40] [5, 21, 23, 25]
Alcoholism or substance abuse [8, 21-25]  
History of immigration [8, 15, 17, 22, 38, 39, 42]  
Low educational level and/or low awareness and knowledge about TB [9, 15-17, 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28, 31-33, 38, 39] [13] (low educational level)
Other Health-related reasons:
Generally poor health [26]
Smoking [14, 23]
Coexistence of sexually transmitted diseases [26]
Less severe and indifferent symptoms [27]
No haemoptysis [16, 28]
  Socioeconomic factors:
Married [5]
Single [18, 26]
Large family size [30]
Farmer [5]
White (vs. aboriginal) [20]
Muslim [18]
Belonging to an indigenous group [13]
No insurance [13]
  Beliefs and attitudes:
Beliefs about TB (not curable, caused by evil spirits, etc.) [8, 14, 27]
Stigma [27]
Self-treatment [6, 36, 42]
  1. The columns are identifying the applicable studies finding positive and negative association, respectively, with the risk factors