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Trop Gastroenterol. 1998 Oct-Dec;19(4):141-4.

Association of chronic hepatitis C infection and diabetes mellitus.

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H. Dabbous Department of Tropical Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


The aim of the study was to detect a possible aetiological association between chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and diabetes mellitus (DM). Among the 591 HCV seropositive chronic liver disease (CLD) patients, 150 (25.4%) had associated diabetes mellitus while only 25 of 223 HCV seronegatives (11.2%) were diabetics. The HCV seropositive patients were three times more likely to suffer from diabetes mellitus than those who were HCV seronegative and the results were highly significant (odds ratio = 2.7, CI = 1.7-4.4, P < 0.0001). Liver biopsy showed cirrhosis in 24 out of 53 (45.3%) HCV seropositive diabetics and 9/20 (45%) of the HCV seronegative diabetics. The association between the degree of liver disease and the development of diabetes mellitus did not differ statistically between the two groups. Islet cell antibody (ICA) was present in 44.4% of HCV seropositives compared to 73.3% of seronegative diabetics, while NIDDM showed 40% ICA positivity. Although ICA level was highest in HCV seronegative diabetics, the difference between the various groups was not significant statistically. About 29% of HCV seropositive diabetics were on insulin therapy while only 16% of HCV seronegative diabetics received insulin therapy. HCV seropositives were about 2 times more prone to require insulin therapy than HCV seronegatives (odds ratio = 2.0, CI = 1.2-5.7, P = 0.010). We conclude that chronic hepatitis C patients in Egypt are three times more likely to develop DM than HCV seronegative patients. Pancreatic beta -cells might be an extrahepatic target of HCV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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