Tuberculosis (TB)

Global epidemic of diabetes threatens progress in TB control

4 SEPTEMBER 2014¦ GENEVA - The rapid increase in rates of type 2 diabetes* in low- and middle-income countries where tuberculosis (TB) is endemic could hamper global efforts to control and eliminate TB, according to a new three-part Series about TB and diabetes, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Diabetes increases the risk of falling ill with TB by 2-3 times, and is also a risk factor for poor TB treatment outcomes. A 52% increase in diabetes prevalence recorded over the last 3 years in the 22 highest TB burden countries is thought to be responsible for a rise in diabetes-associated TB cases from 10% in 2010 to 15% in 2013. It is therefore important to address the global diabetes epidemic in order to help improve TB prevention and optimize clinical care for people with TB/diabetes co-morbidity.

The series on TB and diabetes published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology today, has papers contributed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The papers summarize the evidence on the TB-diabetes link and provide estimates of the impact of diabetes on the global TB burden. Building on the available evidence and the experiences of implementing the WHO/The Union “Collaborative Framework for Care and Control of Tuberculosis and Diabetes”, the papers discuss implications for global policy on TB-diabetes and outlines how this is reflected in WHO's new post-2015 global TB strategy.

The papers are freely available (after registration as a Lancet user) here: