According to an AFP dispatch taken up by the site of the RTBF, nearly 10 million people contracted tuberculosis in 2017. In The Hague, during a pulmonology congress, researchers revealed an increased risk of developing tuberculosis for people with very high blood sugar levels. blood. The World Health Organization fears that an explosion in diabetes could expose millions more patients to the disease.
Blood sugar promotes tuberculosis, even without diabetes
The infectious disease develops because of a bacterium called Koch’s bacillus. It is transmitted through the air or through sputum. The most well-known type of tuberculosis is pulmonary, it is the most contagious, but can also affect other organs. It is then non-contagious and is called extrapulmonary tuberculosis. It is potentially fatally dangerous in any case.
In 90% of cases, the bacterium is latent in the body and does not cause tuberculosis. It mainly becomes active in debilitated people. A recent study presented in The Hague points out that blood tests of people affected by tuberculosis show a very high level of sugar in the blood. These patients were not diabetic, but their blood samples contained the same molecules as other patients with both diabetes and tuberculosis. Diabetes increases the risk of tuberculosis because it reduces immune defenses. But the study points out that, even without having reached the stage of diabetes, a high level of sugar in the blood increases the risk of contracting tuberculosis.
One in four people carry the bacteria
AFP recalls that in India, where a quarter of people infected with tuberculosis live in the world, patients showing signs of one of the two diseases are automatically screened for the other. For the researchers, we should no longer be satisfied with screening only for people affected by diabetes, but also for those with high blood sugar levels.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 450 million worldwide are affected by type II diabetes, and one in four people are carriers of the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis.
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