Tuberculosis and diabetes

Addressing the growing threat of the double burden

Diabetes triples the risk of developing tuberculosis. The increasing prevalence of diabetes is therefore threatening a resurgence of tuberculosis, unless action is taken.

The problem
Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing 1.5 million people annually. Diabetes triples the risk of developing active TB, and TB may trigger the onset of diabetes and worsen glycaemic control in existing diabetes. A high prevalence of diabetes has been found among some multidrug resistant TB populations.

WDF's response
It is critical that people with TB are screened for diabetes and, in areas with a high prevalence of TB, people with diabetes should be screened for TB. The WDF has supported the development and formulation of international guidelines and projects that aim to prevent, detect and manage diabetes in TB patients at the primary care level. The WDF also supports efforts to increase public awareness about TB and diabetes and their interaction, their individual and common risk factors, and how to prevent them.