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.