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Cigarette-Smoking Intensity and Interferon-Gamma Release Assay Conversion among Persons Who Inject Drugs: A Cohort Study.


We analyzed data from a longitudinal cohort study of persons who inject drugs (PWID) in Tijuana, Mexico, to explore whether cigarette smoking increases the risk of interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) conversion. PWID were recruited using respondent driven sampling (RDS). QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT) assay conversion was defined as interferon-gamma concentrations <0.35 IU/mL at baseline and ≥0.7 IU/mL at 18 months. We used multivariable Poisson regression adjusted for RDS weights to estimate risk ratios (RRs). Of 129 eligible participants, 125 (96.9%) smoked at least one cigarette during followup with a median of 11 cigarettes smoked daily, and 52 (40.3%) had QFT conversion. In bivariate analysis, QFT conversion was not associated with the number of cigarettes smoked daily (P = 0.716). Controlling for age, gender, education, and alcohol use, the RRs of QFT conversion for smoking 6-10, 11-15, and ≥16 cigarettes daily compared to smoking 0-5 cigarettes daily were 0.9 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.5-1.6), 0.5 (95% CI, 0.3-1.2), and 0.7 (95% CI, 0.3-1.6), respectively. Although this study did not find an association between self-reported smoking intensity and QFT conversion, it was not powered sufficiently to negate such an association. Larger longitudinal studies are needed to fully explore this relationship.

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