Mozambique is one of the countries worst affected by tuberculosis (TB). Despite significant efforts to reduce its high incidence and mortality rates, several factors continue to hamper effective treatment and containment of the disease in individuals also affected by other infectious diseases or by non-communicable ones such as diabetes mellitus (DM). The number of patients affected by both TB and DM in Mozambique is on the rise, and a multidisciplinary approach is needed to manage such cases.
Conducted in Beira, Mozambique, the present study assessed the prevalence of DM in individuals with pulmonary TB. Three hundred and one patients recently diagnosed with the latter (203 men and 98 women, with an average age of 36.7 years) were recruited in three health centers in Beira in 2016. DM was diagnosed in just 3 of them (1%), while impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) was found in another 6 (2%).
Thus despite growing scientific evidence showing an association between TB and DM, our own study found a low prevalence of DM in TB patients. This finding is not at odds with the hypothesis of a mutual interaction between the two diseases, but might instead be a result of the malnourishment of the patients enrolled in the study, given that approximately 60% of them were underweight.