Diabetes and Tuberculosis (TB)

With 1.6 million People with TB and Diabetes the World Health Organisation has published advice under the heading ‘Invest for impact’.

Diabetes is associated with about twice the risk of tuberculosis (TB) disease and a higher risk of multidrug-resistant TB. People with both TB and diabetes are twice as likely to die during TB treatment and have twice the risk of TB relapse after treatment completion.

In 2021, about 370 000 new episodes of TB were estimated to be attributable to diabetes, and, in 2019, just over 15 per cent of people with TB globally were estimated to have diabetes as compared with 9.3 percent in the general adult population (aged 20–79 years).

Thus, about 1.6 million people with TB and diabetes require coordinated care and follow-up to optimize the management of both conditions.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling for people-centred services to respond to the increasing burden of TB and diabetes and meet the needs and preferences of affected persons as far as possible.

Programmes should work together to define and reorient models of care to ensure the provision of integrated services, preferably at the same time and location and as close as possible to people in need of the services.

Advocacy Action: Has any work been undertaken into the link and prevalence and likely growth of cases in your country? Can you ask questions about the link and what action your health care providers are taking? Do they follow WHO guidelines? You can find out more from WHO via the link.