Searching for research over the past four decades containing data on the relationship between diabetes and TB, Christie Jeon and Megan Murray of the Harvard School of Public Health identified 13 studies involving more than 1.7 million participants, including 17,698 cases of TB.
Combining the data from cohort studies in particular, the researchers calculated that diabetes increases the risk of active TB by about a factor of three.
A three-fold increased risk suggests that diabetes may already be responsible for more than 10percent of TB cases in India and China.
If these findings are replicated in other countries, global TB control might benefit from special attention to people with diabetes when identifying and treating latent TB.
Increased efforts to diagnose and treat diabetes might also decrease the global burden of TB, which kills about 1.6 million people each year.