Increased risk of type 2 diabetes in noncirrhotic patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection

Mayo Clin Proc. 2000 Apr;75(4):355-9. doi: 10.4065/75.4.355.


Objectives: To investigate whether patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection without evidence of cirrhosis have an increased risk of diabetes mellitus (DM) and to evaluate possible risk factors for diabetes in this group.

Patients and methods: We conducted a case-control study of 45 consecutive eligible patients with HCV infection and no clinical, scintigraphic, or histological evidence of cirrhosis, and a control group of 90 subjects without liver disease matched by age, sex, and body mass index and similar in their origin distribution. Eighty-eight patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection with no evidence of cirrhosis were also evaluated. The diagnosis of diabetes was based on the 1997 American Diabetes Association criteria.

Results: Fifteen patients (33%) with HCV infection were found to have type 2 diabetes compared with 5.6% in the control group without liver disease (P < .001) and 12% in the group with HBV infection (P = .004). Comparison of the patients with and without diabetes revealed that positive family history of diabetes, HCV 1b genotype, and a more severe liver histology were significantly associated with DM.

Conclusions: Patients with chronic HCV infection have an increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes, and this prevalence is independent of cirrhosis. The pathogenesis is intriguing, appears to be unique to HCV, and requires further study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / virology*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / complications*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / virology
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk