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Diabetes: A Contributor to Tuberculosis in Tropical Australia

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  • Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia; Townsville Hospital, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

In countries with a high-burden of tuberculosis (TB), it has been well established that there is an increased incidence of TB among patients with diabetes. However, in countries with a low burden of TB there are conflicting reports. This study aimed to determine if diabetes was associated with TB in patients admitted to a teaching hospital in tropical Australia. A 20-year retrospective study found patients with comorbid diabetes were seven times overrepresented in the TB patient population when compared with the general population. This study demonstrates a strong association between TB and diabetes regardless of TB endemicity.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Tahnee Bridson, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia. E-mail: tahnee.bridson@my.jcu.edu.au

Authors' addresses: Tahnee Bridson, Leigh Owens, Brenda Govan, and Natkunam Ketheesan, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, E-mails: tahnee.bridson@my.jcu.edu.au, leigh.owens@jcu.edu.au, brenda.govan@jcu.edu.au, and n.ketheesan@jcu.edu.au. Anthony Matthiesson, Respiratory and Sleep Unit, Townsville Hospital, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, E-mail: anthony.matthiesson@health.qld.gov.au. Robert Norton, Pathology Queensland, Townsville Hospital, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, and Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, E-mail: robert.norton@health.qld.gov.au.

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