Diabetes increases risk of tuberculosis among seniors, report finds

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Poor control of diabetes among the elderly can lead to a three-fold increase in the risk for tuberculosis, according to a recent report.

Health investigators in China studied more than 42,000 seniors with diabetes for five years to determine the rate of TB among them. Elderly people who poorly control their diabetes were more than twice as likely to contract TB than those without diabetes, and three times as likely as those who have diabetes but keep it in check.

Researchers, led by Dr. Chi C. Leung of the Wanchai Chest Clinic in Hong Kong, are still unsure why the two diseases are connected and what it is about diabetes that increasex the risk of TB. They suggest careful monitoring of A1C, a blood hemoglobin associated with good control of diabetes. Their results can be found in the June issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.