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New study shows that people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from tuberculosis

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
9/4/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Rate of diabetes increase is highest in Africa

The increasing number of Type 2 diabetes cases worldwide is going to make it more difficult to control and eliminate tuberculosis, experts have said after finding a connection between the two diseases.

The rise of tuberculosis cases is especially hard hitting in Africa, where diabetes is also increasing.

The rise of tuberculosis cases is especially hard hitting in Africa, where diabetes is also increasing.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
9/4/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Health, Africa, Diabetes, Tuberculosis, International


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The reasons are still unclear, but it appears that Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing tuberculosis. In a series of articles published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, researchers report that 15% of adult TB cases worldwide are caused by diabetes, translating to more than 1 million infections. 

A small donation can make all the difference to a person suffering from tuberculosis.

Renout van Crevel, a researcher and professor of international health at Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands, said that diabetes triples the chances of developing tuberculosis. Now that diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions, van Crevel sad that it will be even harder to control tuberculosis.

"There are now 380 million diabetes patients worldwide. Twenty years from now it will be 580 million. And this increase is especially taking place in Africa, where the incidence of TB is the highest," said van Crevel.

The relationship between diabetes and tuberculosis is similar to that of HIV and tuberculosis. Having one increases the risk of the other. With HIV, the severely compromised immune system sets the stage for an avtive tuberculosis infection, but with diabetes the cause is less clear.

Van Crevel suggested something is happening metabolically in those with Type 2 diabetes that makes them vulnerable to tuberculosis.

Once infected with TB, diabetics also are much harder to treat, according to Van Crevel.

"TB treatment-there is more failure, there is more relapse, there is more toxicity when the patient is also suffering from diabetes. So for the individual patient, there is more issues when these two diseases come together, just like HIV and TB let us say."

While this is shocking news for some, experts report that the news is not all bad. Public health efforts have helped patient prevent and control diabetes with good diet and exercise, which could potentially decrease the number of tuberculosis cases by 15% or more by 2035.

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