Monday, November 10, 2014
Is it a known fact that the prevalence of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions and that tuberculosis is the second most infectious disease after AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). A recent report has found that having diabetes could triple the risk of contracting TB.
The report, presented at the 45th World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona, found that there could more people living with a combination of TB and diabetes as compared to TB and HIV, which is known to be fatal.
The report collated studies from different countries. It considered a study conducted in the Indian state of Tamilnadu, which found that 25% of TB patients had diabetes. Studies conducted in China and New Mexico found that 12% of nearly 9,000 TB patients and 30% of 1,200 TB patients, respectively had diabetes.
A matter of much concern, the report projected that by 2030, high TB-burden countries like India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Brazil together will make up half the world’s population with diabetes.
Although the mechanism for the co-existence of the two conditions is not fully understood, the report said that diabetes is fuelling the spread of TB. “This is largely because diabetes rates are skyrocketing around the world, and having diabetes increases the risk that a person will become sick with TB," said the report. It additionally warned, “Successfully addressing TB-diabetes therefore requires a coordinated response to both diseases at all levels of the health system."
The findings of this report although disturbing, could be considered as a call for action to leash in this threat before the co-existence of diabetes and TB takes on epidemic proportions. The report additionally warned that if not addressed promptly, all the efforts made to curb the spread of TB could be rolled back by the presence of diabetes.
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