A recent study over 2.3 million patients from 50 different countries concluded a 25% increase in diabetes prevalence would result in 8% increase of tuberculosis by 2035 (1).

Globally diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in the low and middle income countries. Interestingly, a significant portion of diabetes patients remain undiagnosed. Among the patients who are diagnosed, very few of them take medications. A large number of diabetes patients, who are detected with having diabetes, has a very poor control on the disease (2).  

Hence, the new study indicates; undiagnosed and poorly controlled diabetes could therefore create an extra strain to tuberculosis care and prevention (3).

In The Lancet Global Health, Jean Jacques Noubiap and colleagues described, patients with active tuberculosis have a high burden of diabetes (4).

However, researchers have not confirmed; whether diabetes and tuberculosis has any cause and effect relationship. In other words, the study doesn’t suggest, whether tuberculosis led to the increase in diabetes or whether diabetes led to tuberculosis. What the study suggests; these two conditions are happening together (2)

The implication of the research is – urgent improvement is needed in screening and treatment of diabetes among the tuberculosis patients (2).



1.         Odone A, Houben RMGJ, White RG, Lönnroth K. The effect of diabetes and undernutrition trends on reaching 2035 global tuberculosis targets. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 2014;2(9):754-64.

2.         Amberbir A. The challenge of worldwide tuberculosis control: and then came diabetes. The Lancet Global Health. 2019;7(4):e390-e1.

3.         Lönnroth K, Roglic G, Harries AD. Improving tuberculosis prevention and care through addressing the global diabetes epidemic: from evidence to policy and practice. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 2014;2(9):730-9.

4.         Noubiap JJ, Nansseu JR, Nyaga UF, Nkeck JR, Endomba FT, Kaze AD, et al. Global prevalence of diabetes in active tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of data from 2·3 million patients with tuberculosis. The Lancet Global Health. 2019;7(4):e448-e60.