The aim of this study was to investigate the association between diabetes mellitus (DM) and tuberculosis (TB) relapse using the nationwide TB registry in Taiwan. We conducted a case-control study nested within a nationwide cohort of all incident cases of pulmonary TB that were notified during 2006-2007 and had completed anti-TB treatment. The relapse of TB was confirmed by bacteriological or pathological findings. For each relapse case, one control was selected from the study cohort matching by time since treatment completion. DM status was ascertained by medical chart review and cross-matching with the National Health Insurance claims database. A total of 305 cases of relapse were identified after a median follow-up of 3 years (relapse rate: 488 per 100,000 person-year; 95% confidence interval (CI): 434-546). Presence of DM during previous anti-TB treatment was 34.0% and 22.7% in cases and controls, respectively. After adjusting for other potential confounders, DM was associated with increased risk of TB relapse (adjusted odds ratio: 1.96, 95% CI: 1.22-3.15). Only one-third of the DM-TB patients in our study received glycaemic monitoring using HbA1c during anti-TB treatment. Presence of DM was independently associated with risk of TB relapse. TB programs should seriously consider rigorous glucose control in DM-TB patients.
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