Diabetic patients more prone to tuberculosis

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Nov 2017 10:10:27


Staff Reporter,


Diabetes-TB combination may turn into the next big health epidemic

About 10% of diabetic patients across rural as well as urban parts of the Chhattisgarh suffer from tuberculosis (TB), reveals the data gathered under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease and Stroke (NPCDCS).

Doctors said that diabetes-TB combination may turn into the next big health epidemic in the country. A report released at the Union World Conference on lung health estimates that nearly half a million Indians suffer from diabetes-TB. Ironically, 40% of them are unaware that they suffer from either ailment.

‘India already has the dubious distinction of having the world’s highest TB rate and second largest population of diabetics. The staggering numbers scare when one estimates the extent of the impending crisis,’ said Dr. SS Bahadur, vice president of Chhattisgarh Diabetics Association.

Pulmonary expert Dr S Florence said diabetics are at three times higher risk of contracting TB. “’Diabetes lowers a person’s immunity, while TB is an opportunistic infection. In other words, a diabetic is more prone to catching TB,’ she said.

The last Annual Health Survey (done in 2016) showed that both diabetes and tuberculosis were highly prevalent in all 27 districts of the Chhattisgarh. According to it, 312 out of 10000 persons in the Chhattisgarh had diabetes, while 450 per 10000 suffered with TB.

The dual challenge of diabetes as well as TB was discussed at a regional non-communicable diseases consultation organised by National Health Mission with the help of NGO partners – Smile and Health and others. Citing the World Health Organisation data, doctors say that 61% of all deaths in the Chhattisgarh were caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) while 23% of people in the state were at risk of premature deaths from it. ‘There is a great need to spread awareness on four risk factors causing NCDs - tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption,” said Dr. DS Singha, project coordinator of NGO works for diabetic and hypertension patients.

Data from National Health Mission suggests that 15% patients reporting at 21 NCD cells suffer with diabetes while an equal number suffer with hypertension. About 5% patients had both diabetes and blood pressure. Prevalence of different cancers is also being noted under NPCDCS.

Experts suggest regular screening of TB among diabetics. They were of the view that all diabetics must undergo TB testing at least once a year. Besides this, they recommend a close monitoring of symptoms such as fever, sudden weight loss, cough lasting for more than two weeks. Diabetics are an easy prey to TB - Diabetes lowers body’s immune system make it prone to infections. TB on the other hand is an opportunistic infection. That is the reason the combination of diabetics and tuberculosis is so dangerous.