Clinical-demographic markers for improving diabetes mellitus diagnosis in people with tuberculosis in Tanzania

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BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) control is threatened by an increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM), particularly in endemic countries. Screening for DM is not routinely implemented in Tanzania; therefore, we aimed to screen for DM at TB diagnosis using clinical-demographic markers.

METHODS: Our cross-sectional study recruited TB patients who received anti-TB treatment between October 2019 and September 2020 at health care facilities in three regions from Tanzania. Patients were screened for DM using DM symptoms (polydipsia, polyphagia and polyuria) and random blood glucose (RBG) testing. Patients with a history of DM and those with no history of DM but an RBG ≥ 7.8 mmol/L had point-of-care glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) testing, and were considered to have DM if HbA1c was ≥ 48 mmol/mol.

RESULTS: Of 1344 TB patients, the mean age was 41.0 (± 17.0) years, and 64.7% were male. A total of 1011 (75.2%) had pulmonary TB, and 133 (10.4%) had at least one DM symptom. Overall, the prevalence of DM was 7.8%, of which 36 (2.8%) TB patients with no history of DM were newly diagnosed with DM by RBG testing. TB/DM patients were older than those with only TB (50.0 ± 14.0 years vs 40.0 ± 17.0 years, p < 0.001). Patients with RBG ≥ 7.8 mmol/L were more likely to have pulmonary TB (p = 0.003), age ≥ 35 years (p = 0.018), and have at least one DM symptom (p < 0.001). There was a substantial agreement (Kappa = 0.74) between the on-site glucometer and point-of-care HbA1c tests in detecting DM range of hyperglycemia.

CONCLUSION: The implementation of clinical-demographic markers and blood glucose screening identified the overall prevalence of DM and those at risk of DM in TB patients. Clinical-demographic markers are independent predictors for DM range hyperglycemia and highlight the importance of further diagnostic testing and early co-management of TB and DM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number260
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s).

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