The role of diabetes mellitus in the higher prevalence of tuberculosis among Hispanics

Ariel Pablos-Méndez, Jan Blustein, Charles A. Knirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. This research studied the relative contribution of diabetes mellitus to the increased prevalence of tuberculosis in Hispanics. Methods. A case-control study was conducted involving all 5290 discharges from civilian hospitals in California during 1991 who had a diagnosis of tuberculosis, and 37 366 control subjects who had a primary discharge diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or acute appendicitis. Risk of tuberculosis was estimated as the odds ratio (OR) across race/ethnicity, with adjustment for other factors. Results. Diabetes mellitus was found to be an independent risk factor for tuberculosis. The association of diabetes and tuberculosis was higher among Hispanics (adjusted OR [OR(adj)] = 2.95; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.61, 3.33) than among non-Hispanic Whites (OR(adj) = 1.31; 95% CI = 1.19, 1.45); among non-Hispanic Blacks, diabetes was not found to be associated with tuberculosis (OR(adj) = 0.93; 95% CI = 0.78, 1.09). Among Hispanics aged 25 to 54, the estimated risk of tuberculosis attributable to diabetes (25.2%) was equivalent to that attributable to HIV infection (25.5%). Conclusions. Diabetes mellitus remains a significant risk factor for tuberculosis in the United States. The association is especially notable in middle-aged Hispanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-579
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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