We are the diabetes capital of the world. That makes us high-risk TB contractors. Is thin-fat India in trouble?
First came the bad news: With 30 million Indians diagnosed with diabetes, this country holds the world’s second largest population with the disease, and is likely to reach the top spot within 10 years. Add to this, India has the highest number of people with active tuberculosis (TB).
Last week, a study commissioned by The Lancet, reported that the diabetes epidemic is closely linked with rising cases of TB. The study says diabetes is making an increasingly important contribution to India’s TB epidemic, as it is in other diabetes prone nations. In the last three years, a 52 per cent increase in diabetes prevalence has been recorded in 22 countries with the highest number of TB cases.
What is it that links a non-communicable disease to a communicable one?
Dr Manoj Chaddha, consultant endocrinologist and diabetologist at Khar’s Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, says, “High blood sugar levels weaken a person’s immune system. So, diabetics are at high risk for all sorts of infection. Which is why even a common cold takes longer to cure in a diabetic.”
The rule of 10 applies to the interlinking of the two diseases, he explains. Ten per cent of all patients with diabetes will have TB and 10 per cent of all patients with TB will suffer diabetes.
Tougher to treat
Many physicians, Dr Oswal says, treat a patient for TB without confirming the diagnosis. “Only upon sputum examination should a patient be given TB medication. Otherwise, chances of the disease turning drug-resistant are high. Also, patients must complete the course without a break,” he warns.
Source by : Times of India Health News