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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brownsville Researchers Find Diabetes Link to Tuberculosis


New evidence discovered by researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health Brownsville Regional Campus (at UTB-TSC) shows that patients with Type 2 diabetes may be at increased risk of contracting tuberculosis because of a compromised immune system, resulting in life-threatening lung infections that are more difficult to treat.

Blanca I. Restrepo, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology; and Susan P. Fisher-Hoch, M.D., professor of epidemiology; and Joseph B. McCormick, M.D., regional dean, previously reported that Type 2 diabetes was the leading risk factor for tuberculosis (TB) in the United States/Mexico border area. Several other studies in Asia and elsewhere have confirmed this observation.

The UT School of Public Health team has now led three new studies that revealed key findings:

-Type 2 diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes involving chronic high blood sugar, is associated with altered immune response to TB, and this was particularly marked in patients with chronically high blood sugar.
-Patients with diabetes and TB take longer to respond to anti-TB treatment.
-Patients with active tuberculosis and Type 2 diabetes are more likely to have multi-drug resistant TB.
-The World Health Organization estimates that 180 million people in the world have diabetes, and that number is expected to double by 2030.

For the full article, click here.

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