A recent study by Dr Vijay Viswanathan, chief diabetologist at M V Hospital for diabetes in India , and University of Massachusetts Medical School, found that 54.1% of the 209 patients they surveyed with pulmonary tuberculosis were diabetic, while 21% were pre-diabetic.
“According to data, every fourth person has latent TB, which surfaces when the immune system is weak,” said Dr Viswanathan.
Diabetes, he explained, increases the risk of progression to active TB disease in people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB. Conversely, TB has an effect on diabetes.
It can not only worsen blood sugar control but also complicate clinical management of diabetes.
According to the Times of India, Dr Khaparde said earlier studies had shown that treatment failure rates of tuberculosis patients were higher if they had poorly-controlled diabetes.
“Although the evidence on the link between TB and diabetes has been around for a while now, it has been assessed and consolidated only recently. Now we have compiled enough evidence, and need to act fast and implement bidirectional screening,” said Dr Khaparde.