The global dynamics of diabetes and tuberculosis: the impact of migration and policy implications

Int J Infect Dis. 2017 Mar;56:45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2017.01.018. Epub 2017 Jan 30.


The convergence between tuberculosis (TB) and diabetes mellitus (DM) will represent a major public health challenge in the near future. DM increases the risk of developing TB by two to three times and also increases the risk of TB treatment failure, relapse, and death. The global prevalence of DM is predicted to rise significantly in the next two decades, particularly in some of the low- and middle-income countries with the highest TB burden. Migration may add further complexity to the effort to control the impact on TB of the growing DM pandemic. Migration may increase the risk of DM, although the magnitude of this association varies according to country of origin and ethnic group, due to genetic factors and lifestyle differences. Migrants with TB may have an increased prevalence of DM compared to the native population, and the risk of TB among persons with DM may be higher in migrants than in autochthonous populations. Screening for DM among migrants, screening migrants with DM for active and latent TB, and improving access to DM care, could contribute to mitigate the effects of DM on TB.

Keywords: Communicable diseases; Diabetes; Migrants; Tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Forecasting
  • Human Migration*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology*