Insulin syringes.

El eje mortal de la tuberculosis y la diabetes

PARÍS – El año pasado, la tuberculosis superó al VIH/SIDA y se convirtió en la enfermedad infecciosa más mortal del mundo. Según un informe reciente de la Organización Mundial de la Salud, la enfermedad se cobra aproximadamente 1,5 millón de vidas cada año. Sorprende saber que una de cada tres personas en el mundo vive con una infección de tuberculosis latente que, en algún momento, podría devenir la forma activa -y potencialmente letal- de la enfermedad.

Se hicieron grandes progresos en la lucha contra la tuberculosis en las últimas décadas. Eso permitió que, desde 2000, se salvaran unos 43 millones de vidas. Pero los líderes mundiales aún no han ofrecido una respuesta que sea acorde a la escala del problema. Eso tiene que cambiar -especialmente a medida que vamos teniendo más conocimiento sobre la interacción entre la tuberculosis y otro asesino letal en el mundo: la diabetes.

La diabetes tipo 2 no sólo hace que el cuerpo se vuelva incapaz de procesar o responder a la insulina; también debilita el sistema inmunológico, aumentando el riesgo de que sus víctimas desarrollen una tuberculosis activa. La gente con diabetes tiene tres veces más probabilidades de sufrir tuberculosis. La diabetes también puede hacer que los pacientes no respondan tan bien a las terapias estándar contra la tuberculosis, a la vez que puede aumentar la posibilidad de una recidiva después de que la enfermedad ha sido tratada.

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