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Nutrition and Tuberculosis (TB) Prevention

Context:

Recently, two studies conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and published in prestigious journals such as The Lancet and The Lancet Global Health, have unveiled a pivotal connection between nutrition and tuberculosis (TB) prevention.

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Findings from the Studies on Nutrient-Dense Food for TB Patients
  2. Tuberculosis

Key Findings from the Studies on Nutrient-Dense Food for TB Patients

  • Participant Demographics: The studies involved a total of 5,621 participants who received nutrient-dense food for a year, and 4,724 participants who received regular food parcels with no additional nutrition.
  • TB Incidence Reduction: The intervention group receiving nutrient-dense food experienced a significant reduction in tuberculosis (TB) incidence, with a 39% lower incidence compared to the control group.
  • Impact of Weight Gain: In severely malnourished TB patients in Jharkhand, weight gain was associated with decreased risks of tuberculosis mortality.
  • Effect of Weight Gain: A 1% increase in weight was linked to a 13% reduction in the instantaneous risk of death, while a 5% increase in weight led to a substantial 61% reduction in this risk.
  • Study Sample: The study focused on 2,800 severely malnourished TB patients in Jharkhand, where 4 out of 5 patients were found to have undernutrition.
  • Nutritional Support Duration: Nutritional support was provided for six months to individuals responding to TB drugs, while those with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis received support for 12 months.
  • Early Weight Gain: Patients who experienced weight gain during the first two months of treatment had a significantly lower risk of TB mortality, with a 60% reduction.
  • Treatment Success: Patients receiving nutrient-dense food showed higher rates of treatment success, better weight gain, and lower rates of weight loss during follow-up periods.

Tuberculosis

  • TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer.
  • Each day, over 4000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease
  • TB is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs.
  • Transmission: TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.
  • Symptoms: Cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
  • Treatment: TB is a treatable and curable disease. It is treated with a standard 6 month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.
  • Anti-TB medicines have been used for decades and strains that are resistant to 1 or more of the medicines have been documented in every country surveyed.
  • Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful, first-line anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs.
  • Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is a more serious form of MDR-TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs, often leaving patients without any further treatment options

-Source: The Hindu


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