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Study on Diabetes and TB

Posted on May 10, 2018 | No Comments on Study on Diabetes and TB

Previous studies have established that diabetes is a risk factor for tuberculosis (TB). Now, recent study shows that the increasing prevalence of diabetes may threaten global efforts to control TB, reported researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston in the latest issue of PLoS (Public Library of Science) Medicine.

Drs. Christie Y. Jeon and Megan B. Murray wrote that experts have been concerned about the merging of these diseases especially in low- to middle-income countries like India and China, which have the fastest increase in diabetes and have the highest burden of TB. This association may seem biologically plausible because of studies saying that diabetes weakens the immune system, which makes it harder for the body to ward off infection.

To further investigate the relationship between diabetes and TB, Drs. Jeon and Murray searched for studies over the past four decades and found 13 studies which involved more than 1.7 million participants, including 17,698 cases of TB. Combining some of the data from the studies, the researchers calculated that having diabetes increases the risk of active TB by about a factor of three. Researchers said that this three-fold increased risk implies that diabetes may be responsible for more than 10 percent of TB cases in India and China and suggest that global efforts to control TB should include patients with diabetes.

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