Tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries. The theme of World TB Day 2014 is to "Reach the 3 Million". Of the 9 million people who suffer from TB each year, 3 million are "missed" by health systems; most often coming from the world’s poorest, most vulnerable communities.
TB has shared risk factors with other NCDs, and is also more likely to occur in individuals already living with NCDs. As for NCDs, strengthening health systems especially in LMICs and mounting a multisectoral response, including equality for women and other marginalised socioeconomic groups, is crucial to tackling TB and minimising preventable deaths.
- Tobacco use increases the risk of contracting TB two or three fold, and of TB mortality. Passive smoking is also a key risk factor, especially for children
- Heavy drinkers have three times the risk of developing TB
- Risk of TB increases significantly with a weakened immune system, which may occur as a result of diabetes, end stage kidney disease, and certain cancers
- Over 95% of TB deaths and almost 80% of NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries
- People with diabetes in developing countries are estimated to be 2.5 times more likely to develop TB
- Stigma and social exclusion suffered by women with TB can create barriers to treatment