Higher diabetes rates could hinder efforts to combat tuberculosis

The increasingly common occurrence of diabetes could impact the ability of governments and countries across the world to combat tuberculosis (TB), according to a series of new papers.

Papers released by researchers all over the world indicate that 15 percent of adult TB cases reported globally are attributable to diabetes, amounting to more than one million cases per year, Science Daily reports.

According to the authors of the papers, if diabetes rates continue to increase, the downward trajectory of TB cases worldwide could potentially be offset by eight percent or more by 2035.

One of the papers showed the top 10 countries with the highest rates of adult TB associated with diabetes include India at 302,000; China at 156,000; South Africa at 70,000; Indonesia at 48,000; Pakistan at 43,000; Bangladesh at 36,000; the Philippines at 29,000; Russia at 23,000; Burma at 21,000; and the Democratic Republic of Congo at 19,000, according to Science Daily.

"These findings highlight the growing impact of diabetes on TB control in regions of the world where both diseases are prevalent," series author Knut Lönnroth, a medical officer from the Global TB Program at the World Health Organization said, Science Daily reports. "TB control is being undermined by the growing number of people with diabetes, which is expected to reach an astounding 592 million worldwide by 2035."

Efforts to reduce the incidence of TB could become even more difficult in coming years. The International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) estimates that the number of people with diabetes will increase by 21 percent over the next 20 years.

"If we are to achieve the ambitious post-2015 global TB target to reduce TB incidence by 90 percent by 2035, increased efforts to diagnose and treat both TB and diabetes, especially in countries with a high burden of both diseases, will be crucial," Lönnroth said, according to Science Daily.