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Can J Public Health. 2007 Jan-Feb;98(1):55-9.

The relationship between diabetes and tuberculosis in Saskatchewan: comparison of registered Indians and other Saskatchewan people.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK. dyck@sask.usask.ca



Saskatchewan Aboriginal people are experiencing epidemics of both type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and tuberculosis (TB). The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between diabetes and TB in Saskatchewan and to establish whether there is a difference in the degree of any association between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.


Utilizing Saskatchewan Health databases, TB incidence (cases identified from 1986-2001) was compared between four subpopulations identified from 1991-1995: Registered Indians (RI) with and without diabetes, and other Saskatchewan people (OSKP) with and without diabetes.


Diabetic women aged 20-59 years had higher average annual incidence rates of TB than non-diabetic women, but within-population rate ratios of TB in diabetic versus non-diabetic women were only significant in those aged 50-59 (2.7 [CI 1.28, 5.72] in RI and 3.9 [CI 1.58, 9.67] in OSKP). No other within-population diabetic subgroup had significantly higher rates of TB. The only male diabetic group that had a higher rate of TB were RI plus OSKP men aged 50-59 years. Overall, diabetes preceded TB in 87/111 individuals with both diseases (p < 0.0001).


Our results suggest that T2DM is a predictor for TB in Saskatchewan women aged 20-59 but particularly in RI and OSKP women aged 50-59 years. This has implications for TB screening and prevention initiatives.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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