Global TB control in diabetics

Posted by: admin on: April 16, 2012

Study unveils a definite relation between diabetes and tuberculous. Early detection and integrated treatment with good diabetic control needed for global TB Control.


People with diabetes are at higher risk of developing tuberculosis (TB) than those without diabetes.

TB is a major public health problem in many low- and middle-income countries, where the number of people with diabetes is also rising rapidly. Regions, such as Africa and Asia that are most heavily affected by tuberculosis are also those that have some of the highest numbers of people with diabetes and will experience the biggest increases by 2030.

Growing prevalence of diabetes poses a challenge for TB control as uncontrolled diabetes leads to a greater risk of developing TB. These trends reflect the important links between the diseases. Several studies have looked at the association between diabetes and tuberculosis in developed countries and found that people with diabetes are around 2.5 times more likely to develop tuberculosis.  These findings were also true of developing regions including Africa where one study found that the prevalence (%) of diabetes was twice as high in people with tuberculosis than in people without tuberculosis.

Not only does diabetes contribute to a person’s risk of developing tuberculosis, but it also makes it more difficult to treat those who have both diseases. A review looking at the impact of diabetes on tuberculosis treatment found that people with diabetes are more likely to fail treatment and more likely to die during treatment compared to those without diabetes.

People with diabetes who have good glucose control are less likely to develop tuberculosis. In addition, tuberculosis treatment leads to decreasing blood glucose levels   suggesting that integrated management of tuberculosis in people with high blood glucose could lead to better diabetes control.

Effective management of both diseases requires the same elements including early detection, providing guided standard treatment, and having an effective drug supply. The same principles can be applied to both diseases and help many people affected by tuberculosis and diabetes. Setting standards on these simple priorities could lead to effective detection and treatment for diabetes as has been seen in global tuberculosis control.


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