Association of type 2 diabetes mellitus and seroprevalence for cytomegalovirus

South Med J. 2005 Jul;98(7):686-92. doi: 10.1097/01.SMJ.0000163310.12516.2D.


Background: Infection is known to play a role in type 1 diabetes, but there is a paucity of information on its role in diabetes mellitus type 2. We examined the seroprevalence of selected viruses in a group of predominantly Hispanic patients with type 2 diabetes and control subjects without diabetes.

Methods: One hundred thirteen patients, 83 with type 2 diabetes and 30 control subjects, all undergoing hemodialysis at the same facility in San Antonio, Texas, were tested for antibodies against coxsackie B viruses, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and parvovirus. Sixty-six of these patients and 25 control subjects were tested bimonthly for 6 months.

Results: We observed a greater seroprevalence of anti-CMV IgG antibodies among patients with diabetes (97.6%), compared with control subjects (86.7%), and the difference was statistically significant [OR = 6.2, 95% CI: 1.1 to 36.0, P < 0.05]. Three draws on a subset of 91 patients produced still greater odds [OR = 12.4, 95% CI: 1.3 to 117, P < 0.05]. There were significantly more (P < or = 0.001) vascular complications among patients with diabetes. There was a colinearity of trends between diabetes, seropositivity to CMV, and age.

Conclusions: Our findings indicated an up to 12 times greater odds of having type 2 diabetes for persons previously exposed to CMV. Since accelerated atherosclerosis is also associated with diabetes and CMV, past CMV infection may be a common factor that links atherosclerosis and diabetes. No other viruses tested in this study, either coxsackie B viruses or parvovirus, showed a significant association with type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / complications*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / virology
  • Enterovirus B, Human / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans*
  • Middle Aged
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / immunology*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Texas / epidemiology


  • Antibodies, Viral