Risk factors for diabetes mellitus and early insulin resistance in chronic hepatitis C

J Hepatol. 2001 Aug;35(2):279-83. doi: 10.1016/s0168-8278(01)00143-x.


Background/aims: Our aims were to investigate the host and viral specific factors associated with diabetes mellitus (DM) and insulin resistance in chronic hepatitis C patients.

Methods: One hundred and three hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected were studied to assess the effects of HCV genotype, hepatic iron content, steatosis, hepatic fibrosis, body mass index (BMI) and family history of DM on the occurrence of DM. Insulin resistance (HOMA IR) was studied in 81 non-diabetic patients to determine the mechanism associated with insulin resistance in this subgroup.

Results: Sixteen of the 123 were diabetic (13.0%). The variables predictive of DM were METAVIR fibrosis score 4 (OR, 13.16; P = 0.012), family history of diabetes (OR, 16.2; P = 0.0023), BMI (OR, 1.37; P = 0.017) and age (OR, 1.09; P = 0.002). In non-diabetic HCV-infected patients, HOMA-IR of METAVIR fibrosis score 0 and 1 patients were significantly different than score 2 and score 3/4 patients.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that older age, obesity, severe liver fibrosis and family history of diabetes help identify those HCV patients who might have potential risk factors for development of DM. We observed that insulin resistance in non-diabetic HCV-infected patients was related to grading of liver fibrosis, and occurs already at an early stage in the course of HCV infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / complications*
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / genetics
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / pathology
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiopathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors


  • Iron