News / Health

Global Diabetes Epidemic Hampers Tuberculosis Control

Jessica Berman

The growing number of Type 2 diabetes cases worldwide will make it difficult to control and eliminate tuberculosis. Experts have found a connection between the two diseases, reminiscent of HIV and TB.

For reasons that are still unclear, Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing tuberculosis. In a series of articles in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, researchers report that 15 percent of adult TB cases worldwide are due to diabetes, translating to more than 1 million infections.  

More than 40 percent of diabetes-associated TB cases are in India.

Renout van Crevel, a researchers and professor of international health at Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands, said diabetes triples the chances of developing tuberculosis. With diabetes reaching epidemic proportions, van Crevel said that will make TB control efforts increasingly difficult.

“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.

Van Crevel likens the relationship between diabetes and TB to that of HIV and tuberculosis. Having one disease increases the risk of acquiring the second.

With HIV, a severely compromised immune system sets the stage for an active TB infection.

With diabetes, the cause of the increased risk 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.”

But the news is not all bad. Experts report public health efforts to help patients prevent and control diabetes with good diet and exercise could potentially reduce the number of TB cases by 15 percent or more by 2035 over current expected reductions in the tuberculosis rate.

 

 

 

 

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More