Aims/hypothesis: The human cytomegalovirus (CMV) may increase the risk of diabetes mellitus, but the literature is scarce. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that asymptomatic CMV infection is associated with increased risk of new-onset diabetes after renal transplantation, and to assess the impact of asymptomatic CMV infection on OGTT-derived estimates of insulin release and insulin action.
Methods: A total of 160 consecutive non-diabetic renal transplant recipients on cyclosporine (Sandimmun Neoral)-based immunosuppression were closely monitored for CMV infection during the first 3 months after transplantation. All patients underwent a 75-g OGTT at 10 weeks. Excluded from the analyses were 36 patients with symptomatic CMV infection (disease).
Results: The incidence of new-onset diabetes was 6% in a control group of recipients without CMV infection (4/63) and 26% in the group with asymptomatic CMV infection (16/61). Asymptomatic CMV infection was associated with a significantly increased risk of new-onset diabetes (adjusted odds ratio: 4.00; 95% CI: 1.19 to 13.43, p=0.025). The group of patients with CMV infection had a significantly lower median insulin release than controls.
Conclusions/interpretation: Our findings support the hypothesis that asymptomatic CMV infection is associated with increased risk of new-onset post-transplant diabetes mellitus, and suggest that impaired insulin release may involve one pathogenetic mechanism.