Prevalence and predictors of obesity among individuals with positive hepatitis C antibody in a tertiary referral clinic

J Hepatol. 2008 Nov;49(5):711-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2008.05.013. Epub 2008 Jun 6.


Background/aims: To determine the prevalence of obesity and investigate factors associated with obesity in a hepatitis C antibody positive clinic population.

Methods: We reviewed 3505 patient records (1990-2006) from a liver clinic in Toronto. We used regression analysis to explore factors associated with obesity. We compared the prevalence of obesity among propensity matched patients by hepatitis C ribonucleic acid status.

Results: Patients (1118) met inclusion criteria. The prevalence of obesity in this clinic population was 28.8%. In multiple regression analyses, older age (odds ratio 1.02; 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.04) and a positive hepatitis C ribonucleic acid test (odds ratio 1.80; 95% confidence interval 1.11-2.92) were independently associated with obesity. In the analysis comparing 112 propensity matched pairs, the prevalence of obesity was significantly higher among hepatitis C ribonucleic acid positive patients than in matched patients who tested negative (32.1% vs. 18.8%; p=0.02). Supplemental analysis by excluding patients with probable fatty liver disease strengthened the association between hepatitis C viremia and obesity.

Conclusions: Hepatitis C viremia may be associated with an increased prevalence of obesity observed in a tertiary referral clinic for hepatitis C.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / complications*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / pathology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • RNA, Viral