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Eur Respir J. 2011 May;37(5):1269-82. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00084310. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Tuberculosis and noncommunicable diseases: neglected links and missed opportunities.

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Stop TB Dept, World Health Organization, Geneva 1211, Switzerland.


Globally, the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) is declining very slowly, and the noncommunicable disease (NCD) burden for many countries is steadily increasing. Several NCDs, such as diabetes mellitus, alcohol use disorders and smoking-related conditions, are responsible for a significant proportion of TB cases globally, and in the European region, represent a larger attributable fraction for TB disease than HIV. Concrete steps are needed to address NCDs and their risk factors. We reviewed published studies involving TB and NCDs, and present a review and discussion of how they are linked, the implications for case detection and management, and how prevention efforts may be strengthened by integration of services. These NCDs put patients at increased risk for developing TB and at risk for poor treatment outcomes. However, they also present an opportunity to provide better care through increased case-detection activities, improved clinical management and better access to care for both TB and NCDs. Hastening the global decline in TB incidence may be assisted by strengthening these types of activities.

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