Tuberculosis co-morbidity with diabetes mellitus in Bangladesh: prevalence and treatment outcomes in urban and rural settings

Overview
In 2012, the World Health Organization ranked Bangladesh as the 6th highest tuberculosis (TB) burdened country in the world. As a highly contagious disease, tuberculosis poses a significant public health challenge to Bangladesh’s TB control especially when comorbid with Diabetes Mellitus (DM), a disease which suppresses the immune system in humans. The rise in DM means a growing percentage of the population face an increased risk of reactivation of latent TB infections. Moreover, underlying DM may adversely affect the success of TB treatment in patients, and vice versa. Before taking corrective action, a thorough analysis of TB-DM prevalence, distribution, and baseline treatment outcomes is needed. There is a large gap in the literature regarding prevalence of DM in TB patients in rural and urban areas. In addition, there is little information regarding treatment outcomes of TB in patients with DM in Bangladesh. Therefore, this study aimed to fill the existing gap in literature and help build stronger policies regarding tuberculosis control, and in turn improve the services provided by TB control programmes in Bangladesh.

Activities

• The study conducted oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) of 1,910 TB patients in 16 districts of Bangladesh to gather information about their DM status.
• While undergoing the OGTT, the patients were also interviewed using a structured questionnaire, and their height and weight were measured to calculate their body mass index (BMI).
• The study also followed up with 750 patients after they had completed their treatment regimen to collect information about the outcome of their treatment.

Partners/donor

Donor: Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)

Highlights

• A manuscript was submitted to the journal ‘The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease’ on prevalence and risk factors of DM on TB patients. The paper is currently under review.
• A second manuscript on the influence of DM on the treatment outcome of TB patients was submitted to the journal ‘Journal of Tropical medicine and International Health’, which is also currently under review.