Background: It has been suggested that chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with diabetes. The aim of this study was to establish a potential relationship between chronic HCV infection and diabetes mellitus in Korean patients.
Methods: We performed a prospective analysis of 404 patients with chronic viral hepatitis or liver cirrhosis who visited our hospital and analyzed whether age, sex, body mass index, alcohol consumption, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, HCV infection and cirrhosis were associated with diabetes. We also enrolled 627 diabetic patients and the seroprevalence of HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-HCV was determined.
Results: Diabetes was observed more frequently in individuals with HCV infected chronic liver disease (24.0%) than in those with HBV infected (10.4%) (p < 0.05). Univariate analyses revealed that age, alcohol consumption and HCV infection were significant independent predictors for diabetes. The mean age of the patients with HCV infected chronic liver disease was higher than that of HBV infected (56 +/- 16 vs 44 +/- 13, p < 0.05). The prevalence of diabetes in HCV infected group was higher than that in HBV infected group in the age of 41-60 (p < 0.05). In diabetic group, the seroprevalence of HBsAg positivity was 4.5% and that of anti-HCV was 2.1%.
Conclusion: Our study demonstrates an association between diabetes and chronic HCV infection in Korean patients. The prevalence of diabetes in patients with HCV infected chronic liver disease is higher than that in those with HBV infected. Age and alcohol consumption are another risk factor for diabetes in patients with chronic viral liver disease.