Objective: To identify factors associated with death from TB, evaluating TB cases reported for 2001 in the city of São Paulo (specifically in the neighborhoods of Cidade Tiradentes, Guaianazes, Itaquera and São Mateus) and comparing those evolving to death with those evolving to cure. Methods: We investigated all deaths in which TB was given as the principal cause (n = 48), analyzing medical charts and conducting home visits to interview the caregiver(s). In parallel, we investigated 96 TB cases in which the patient had been discharged after a cure had been achieved. Patients with HIV were excluded from both groups. Results: There were no differences between the two groups in terms of the clinical form of tuberculosis, laboratory test confirmation of the diagnosis and type of treatment. Death from TB was found to be associated, in a statistically significant manner, with being male, being over 50 years of age, having had less than 3 years of schooling, suffering from alcoholism and being unemployed. The logistic regression showed that the variables presenting the strongest associations with death from TB were suffering from alcoholism and being over 50, whereas being a new treatment and being employed were found to be protective. The combination of suffering from alcoholism, being unemployed and being over 50 increased the chance of evolving to death by 25 times (95% CI: 6.43-97.20). Conclusion: Ongoing education of health professionals, prompt epidemiological interventions and efficient patient referral systems could improve the indices related to this disease.
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