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Med Hypotheses. 2007;69(4):869-72. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

Appetite and tuberculosis: is the lack of appetite an unidentified risk factor for tuberculosis?

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  • 1TB Control, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, 1066-655 W 12th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 4R4.


Different risk factors have been identified as associated with tuberculosis (TB), an important and common one is malnutrition, however, the causes of malnutrition have not been studied in detail, the lack of food and poverty are among the most frequent in developing countries but others are yet to be identified. We hypothesized that chronic lack of appetite can be one of the causes of malnutrition associated to TB and therefore be a potential independent risk factor for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) or TB disease. If this is true, contact subjects with LTBI who have poor appetite will be at higher risk for getting the disease and people with the disease will be at risk for poor treatment outcomes.

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