Smoking, immunosuppressive medications, such as the popular TNF inhibitors, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and HIV infection increase the chances that tuberculosis (TB) infection will progress to TB disease.
TB is an under-recognized risk in the presence of these conditions. Patients and healthcare providers need to be aware of these increased risks. Taking the appropriate TB therapy and knowing the signs and symptoms of TB disease are necessary for health protection.
TB and Other Conditions
- TNF inhibitors are among the most popular medications in the U.S., and are recognized to significantly increase the risk of progressing from TB infection to TB disease.
- TB is one of the leading causes of death among people living with HIV.
- People with diabetes have a tuberculosis risk 2 to 3 times higher than people without diabetes.
- Smoking increases the risk of developing TB infection and disease, and it inhibits the effectiveness of life-saving treatment for TB and HIV.
A TB blood test (IGRA) can detect tuberculosis infection while it is still easily treatable, and before it takes a further toll on your health. You can be tested by your healthcare provider, or by visiting a county health department. Knowing your TB status is essential if you have a chronic disease, smoke, or take an immunosuppressive medication.
Early detection and treatment is essential to recovering from tuberculosis and living a better life.