Hepatitis C as a risk factor for diabetes type 2: lack of evidence in a hospital in central-west Brazil

Braz J Infect Dis. 2008 Feb;12(1):24-6. doi: 10.1590/s1413-86702008000100007.


In order to assess the importance of HCV infection as a possible risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus, a case-control study was conducted, comparing the prevalence of HCV infection among diabetic and non-diabetic patients. Diabetic outpatients attending to a University Hospital in Central-West Brazil were evaluated between April and October 2005. A control group composed by patients from the same institution was matched by gender and age. Candidates to control group were included only if fasting glucose measures were under 100 mg/dL. Diabetics and controls had blood samples taken in order to test for antibodies against HCV (anti-HCV) by enzyme-immunoassay. Polymerase chain reaction and immunoblot were performed to confirm the anti-HCV status. Each group included 206 participants. Despite of the groups were in general comparable. The diabetics had a greater body mass average and smaller family income. The prevalence of confirmed anti-HCV in the diabetic group was of 1.4%, which was similar to the controls (1%). Finding statistical difference may have been hampered by the low frequency of HCV infection in both groups. It was not possible to demonstrate a role of HCV as an etiologic factor in type 2 diabetes, since HCV infected patients represented a small portion of the overall diabetes cases. This finding does not allow to recommend regular screening for HCV infection in type 2 diabetics in this region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Hepatitis C / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies / blood
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Hepatitis C Antibodies