"This research confirms results from several other studies showing an increased risk of TB in people with diabetes and means that it is important that clinicians actively seek to diagnose diabetes in people with TB, and vice versa," said Knut Lonnroth, M.D., Ph.D., medical officer in the Stop TB Department at the World Health Organization. "WHO and several partner organizations are in the process of finalizing a Collaborative Framework for Care and Control of Tuberculosis and Diabetes, which will guide countries on how to prepare health services for coordinated management and prevention, especially countries with high burden of both diseases."
According to Restrepo, a combined diagnosis of TB and diabetes is becoming more evident in the Hispanic population, but this may also be the case in populations at higher risk for the two diseases such as American Indians and African-Americans.
The TB study group included 61 patients in South Texas and 172 in Northeastern Mexico.
The impact of diabetes on TB control varies by country. In South Texas, nearly all of the diabetic patients in the study were aware of having diabetes for at least six months before being diagnosed with TB, but in Mexico, 20 percent were not previously aware of their diabetes status.
In the United States, TB rates are disproportionately higher among racial/ethnic minorities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Screening TB contacts for diabetes would be useful to identify individuals at high risk for TB who should be taking TB prophylaxis, and could also lead to earlier detection and better management of both diseases," said Restrepo. She said this study has implications in particular for countries with high prevalence of both diseases, such as Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Russian Federation.
|Contact: Jade Waddy|
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston