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Free Content The role of anthropometric and other predictors for diabetes among urban Tanzanians with tuberculosis

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BACKGROUND: As diabetes impairs tuberculosis (TB) treatment outcomes, it is essential to identify diabetes among TB patients. While little is known about predictors of diabetes among healthy individuals in Africa, predictors among TB patients are almost non-existent.

OBJECTIVE: To assess potential predictors for diabetes among newly diagnosed pulmonary TB patients in Tanzania.

METHODS: TB patients were tested for diabetes using an oral glucose tolerance test, demographic information was collected and anthropometric measurements taken. The association between diabetes and possible predictors were examined using logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS: Of 1205 TB patients, 16.4% (n = 197) had diabetes, 9.0% (n = 108) were aged ≥55 years, 3.3% (n = 40) were overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 25 kg/m2) and 12.7% (n = 152) severely underweight (BMI < 16 kg/m2). Diabetes was most prevalent in the 45–55 year age group, and increasing weight, BMI and waist circumference were associated with diabetes. Severe underweight (BMI < 16 kg/m2) among male TB patients (sex–BMI interaction, P = 0.02) was associated with diabetes (OR 2.52, P = 0.004).

CONCLUSION: Diabetes is a common comorbidity among TB patients. Although diabetes was associated with obesity and was more prevalent among the middle-aged, the majority of TB patients with diabetes comorbidity were young and lean. With diabetes as a major risk factor for TB, and with the lack of strong predictors for diabetes, universal diabetes screening should be implemented in the TB programme.
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Keywords: Africa; epidemiology; glucose metabolism; obesity; waist circumference

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark 2: Muhimbili Research Centre, National Institute for Medical Research, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania 3: Mwanza Research Centre, National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza, Tanzania 4: Clinical Research Centre, University of Copenhagen, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark 5: Department of International Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; and Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark 6: Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark 7: Department of Infectious Diseases, Odense University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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