Sluggish glucose tolerance in tuberculosis patients

  • L Bell
  • V Bhat
  • G George
  • A A Awotedu
  • B Gqaza


Objective. To examine glucose tolerance in sputum-positive non-treated pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients as part of a general metabolic profile. Subjects. Sixty-three sputum-positive non-treated patients (male and female) attending the pulmonary clinic at Mthatha General Hospital in the Eastern Cape and 89 apparently healthy sexand age-matched volunteers. Methods. Sixty-three untreated TB patients who came to the Mthatha General Hospital's pulmonary clinic with classic symptoms of TB, confirmed by sputum analysis, were recruited for the study. Eighty-nine apparently healthy sexand age-matched volunteers served as the control group. Anthropometric measurements were taken using an electronic scale. Standard oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) were performed in both groups in the morning after an overnight fast. Anticoagulant-treated blood was analysed for glucose and insulin using Peridochrome Glucose (Boehringer Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany) and radioimmunoassay (RIA) (Diagnostic Products Corporation, Los Angeles, USA) respectively. Results. There was sluggish response to glucose and insulin in the TB patient group compared with the control group. Glucose and insulin levels were significantly higher in patients at 0, 30, 60, 120, and 180 minutes. Analysis of variance gave the following p-values, viz. p = 0.0000, 0.0004, 0.0000, 0.0000 and 0.0000 for glucose, and p = 0.0317, 0.0071, 0.0000, 0.0005 and 0.0000 for insulin respectively. Conclusions. The results of this study suggest an altered glucose/insulin metabolism in TB patients. This might play an important role in the clinical course of the disease.

South African Medical Journal Vol. 97 (5) 2007: pp. 374-377

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135