Evidence for a link between hepatitis C virus infection and diabetes mellitus in a cirrhotic population

J Hepatol. 1994 Dec;21(6):1135-9. doi: 10.1016/s0168-8278(05)80631-2.


Abnormalities of carbohydrate metabolism, including hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance, are well recognised complications of cirrhosis. While diabetes mellitus can be explained in many instances on the basis of coincident pancreatic disease, in most the characteristic glucose intolerance of cirrhosis is not readily explicable. A previous clinical observation that hepatitis C virus infection and diabetes mellitus appeared to be associated was formally tested by a retrospective review of 100 consecutive adult patients with cirrhosis undergoing assessment for liver transplantation. Hepatitis C virus was diagnosed by conventional serological and histological criteria. Twenty-three patients had diabetes mellitus, of whom 18 were being treated with insulin. Of the 34 patients with hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis, 17 (50%) had diabetes mellitus, in contrast to just six (9%) of the 66 patients with cirrhosis unrelated to hepatitis C virus (chi2 = 19.1, p < 0.0001) with an odds ratio for hepatitis C virus by diabetes mellitus status 10.0 (95% confidence interval 3.4 to 29.3). Hierarchical loglinear model analysis of those factors of potential relevance to the development of diabetes mellitus revealed that only hepatitis C virus interacted significantly with diabetes mellitus while the relation between diabetes mellitus and origin, sex, body mass index and severity of cirrhosis was conditional. By multiple logistic regression analysis of diabetes mellitus status in relation to the same variables, only hepatitis C virus status was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). Origin, sex, severity of cirrhosis, body mass index and therapy were not significantly associated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies