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Diabetes Increases The Risk Of Developing TB

Web Desk (October 29, 2018): Diabetics are up to three times more likely to develop active TB disease than the general population.

In a latest research, diabetic patients may be at greater risk of tuberculosis than previously thought, scientists said, warning that diabetes and TB could combine to create the “perfect storm” of disease.

The link between diabetes and tuberculosis is known, though poorly understood. Diabetes slows the body’s natural defences, allowing TB the chance to develop.

While TB infections and deaths have declined slightly in the last decade, type II diabetes has exploded.

Roughly one in four people on Earth carry the TB bacteria in their bodies, and the WHO says more than 450 million people worldwide are type II diabetic.Paul Jensen, director of policy and strategy at The Union, said the countries of greatest concern were those with a high latent TB rate and a growing diabetes problem: India, China, Pakistan and several southeast Asian countries.

“We describe this issue in terms of a perfect storm — economically developing, already a huge pool of latent TB infection and here you have this issue with diabetes escalating,” he told

Although TB is curable, the treatment regimen has historically been long, painful and come with significant side effects.

“If you have TB and diabetes at the same time, it makes treatment even more complicated,” Jensen said. “You’re more likely to get TB again in the future and you’re more likely to die.”

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