According to an analysis recently published in the journal PLoS Medicine, people who suffer from the disabling condition of diabetes have an increased risk of another severe condition: active tuberculosis (TB).
While searching for research encompassing the past 40 years that contained data concerning the relationship between diabetes and TB, Christine Jeon and Megan Murray of the Harvard School of Public Health identified 13 such studies. Those studies involved more than 1.7 million participants and 17,698 cases of TB.
After combining the data from cohort studies especially, it was calculated by the researchers that a person who suffers from diabetes has a risk of developing active TB that is three times greater than non-diabetics.
Researchers noted that the three-fold risk increase suggests the possibility of diabetes being responsible for over 10 percent of cases of TB in nations such as India and China. If other countries demonstrate a similar pattern, global TB control could benefit from those who suffer from diabetes receiving special attention when it comes to identifying and treating latent TB.
Increased efforts to diagnose and treat the disabling condition of diabetes could also result in a decrease of TB across the world. TB accounts for the deaths of approximately 1.6 million people yearly.