September 29, 2014 – Diabetes and TB


Anchor lead:Diabetes complicates tuberculosis, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Diabetes and tuberculosis, two worldwide health problems of epidemic proportion, work in synchrony to make things even worse.  That’s according to a recent Lancet series.  Jonathan Golub, a tuberculosis and diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Golub: People with diabetes have about a three-fold increased risk of developing tuberculosis.  And patients with tuberculosis and diabetes end up having a much worse tuberculosis outcomes.  They’re at greater risk of relapsing and they’re at greater risk of dying when they’re on TB treatment compared to patients who don’t have diabetes.   :17

Golub says the exact nature of the compromise isn’t known.

Golub: Patients who have diabetes have a poor immune system which puts them at great risk of reactivation of latent tuberculosis infection to active disease.  Patients who have diabetes who develop tuberculosis also end up having poorer glycemic control.   :16

Golub says screening efforts should look for both conditions.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.