New links found between diabetes and tuberculosis

Countries with the highest rates of tuberculosis and mortality, such as India and China, are also experiencing the fastest increases in the prevalence of diabetes, new research has revealed.

In some settings, it is also thought that the increasing diabetes epidemic could be influencing the incidence of TB, according to

Antonio Moreno of the Epidemiology Service of the Public Health Agency in Barcelona, Spain, recently presented the results of a population-based retrospective study conducted in Barcelona that analyzed factors associated with diabetes among TB patients.

The study looked at patients in a TB control program between 2000 and 2010. A previous diagnosis of diabetes or two fasting glucose measurements of 126mg/dL allowed the subject to be classified as having the disorder.

Of 5,146 patients with TB, 287 also had diabetes. Most of those with diabetes and TB were men of a median age 63. The prevalence of diabetes was 5.8 percent in 2000 and 5.6 percent in 2010, reports.

Of the factors examined in the study, a multivariate analysis showed that those aged above 39, those born in Spain and those who were intravenous drug users had higher rates of diabetes. In addition, those with diabetes had more adverse affects from TB treatment, as well as more TB symptoms compared to those without diabetes.

"Doctors and health providers must be aware and increase the level of suspicion and screening when seeing a patient with either diabetes or TB," Moreno said, reports.