Double burden of tuberculosis and diabetes- Findings from Prof. M. Viswanathan, Diabetes Research Centre and M.V.Hospital for Diabetes
According to International Diabetes Federation estimates, there are 382 million people living with diabetes worldwide and it would increase to nearly 600 million by 2035. About 80% of these people are living in low and middle income countries. In India, about 64 million people are affected by diabetes and more than 70 million are at risk of developing diabetes in the near future. 10 among 100 people in India are living with diabetes. It is a matter of great concern that there is increased morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes. Since Obesity is the major contributing factor for Diabetes, Environmental factors such as physical inactivity, unhealthy diet pattern which are more rampant among the adults and children must be curbed. In India, the problem is further compounded due to the high prence of Tuberculosis in Diabetics and vice versa which was the special focus of the study conducted by M.V Hospital of Diabetes Chennai to determine the course of action for prevention and cure.
A study was conducted by Prof M Viswanathan Diabetes Research Centre among TB patients registered in selected 5 tuberculosis units in India for DOTS treatment. More than 800 TB patients were screened for diabetes using 2hr OGTT test under this The key findings of the study are 25.3% of TB patients had diabetes and another 24.5% had pre diabetes. Out of 25.3%, more than 9% were newly detected and 16% were already diagnosed with diabetes. Nearly half of the subjects, who had TB and diabetes, had infectious form of pulmonary TB.
In the follow up study conducted among these TB patients showed that the presence of diabetes has adverse effects on tuberculosis patients in terms of tuberculosis treatment outcomes. A delay in a sputum conversion was observed among these patients compared to non-diabetic tuberculosis patients. Diabetics are more likely to have impaired immunity compared to normal people. This defect in the protective mechanism makes them prone to acquire infectious diseases more easily than their normal counterparts. People having diabetes, living in a country where TB is also common, are three times more at risk of acquiring TB.
The chance of reactivation of past TB is also common among the people with diabetes. With the increasing number of people with diabetes in India and being a country with a remarkable TB burden, it is necessary to look at the magnitude of people with both TB In recognition of the outstanding contribution of Dr. Vijay Viswanathan, Head & Chief Diabetologist, M.V.Hospital for Diabetes Chennai, Tamil Nadu towards the double burden of tuberculosis and diabetes in India, the prestigious American Diabetes Association had recently honored him by awarding the First Vivian Fonseca Scholar The findings of the above two studies and the growing number of people with diabetes in the community suggests the need of screening each TB patient for diabetes which would help in maintaining a better glycemic control throughout the TB treatment regimen and assist in achieving higher cured rates for tuberculosis disease.
M V Hospital of Diabetes Research Centre, which is a WHO collaborating centre, is also recognized by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (Govt. of India) as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) and has been actively involved in scientific and academic research activities to address the problem of diabetes and its associated complications. The M. V Hospital for Diabetes and its research centre has been initiating several community “ based educational and screening programmers to educate and indentify people with high risk of diabetes. The M.V Hospital for Diabetes Chennai India celebrated its diamond jubilee (1954- March, 2014 in Chennai with the august presence of his Excellency, DR. K. Roshiah, the Governor of Tamil Nadu and his Excellency launched the Diamond Jubilee Souvenir of the Institution and also launched Diabetes Control programme along with Red Cross Society. Dr. Elizabeth R. Seaquist President, American Diabetes Association was honored with a Citation and Gold medal of the prestigious Prof. M. Viswanathan Diabetes Research Centre Oration Award-2013 by Mr. S. M. Sadikot, President Elect International Diabetes Federation and president of diabetes India at an INDO US function organized by M.V.Hospital for Diabetes Royapuram in Chennai on Saturday, 15th field of diabetes and endocrinology. March, 2014 for her outstanding work in the field of diabetes and endocrinology.