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Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001 Mar;24(3):127-31.

[Hyperinsulinemia in cirrhotic patients infected with hepatitis C virus].

[Article in Spanish]

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Unidad de Digestivo, Hospital Comarcal de Riotinto, Huelva.



a) To prospectively study the frequency of diabetes mellitus in cirrhotic patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, comparing it with that in cirrhotic patients without HCV infection and b) to investigate basal insulinemia values in both groups, as well as the possible factors causing insulinemia.


Fifty patients with cirrhosis due to HCV infection (group I) and 50 patients with cirrhosis due to other etiologic agents (group II) were studied. In both groups the percentage of diabetic patients, basal insulinemia values and the factors associated with insulin resistance were compared: age, anthropometric indexes, stage of cirrhosis according to Child-Pugh score, plasmatic ferritin concentrations and treatment with drugs inducing insulin resistance.


The percentage of diabetics in group I was 36% (18/50) compared with 18% (9/50) in group II (p < 0.05) and basal insulinemia values were 23.5 +/- 9.7 microU/ml compared with 15.7 +/- 9.9 microU/ml respectively (p < 0.05). No differences between the groups were found in the following variables: age (58.7 +/- 16.2 vs. 60.6 +/- 10.0 years), weight (73.2 +/- 10.7 vs 73.9 +/- 11.2 Kg), height (161.9 +/- 8.8 vs. 161.1 +/- 6.8 cm), body mass index (28.2 +/- 3.1 vs. 28.5 +/- 5.2 Kg/height m2) or Child-Pugh stage (A: 40 vs 34, B: 7 vs. 10, C: 3 vs. 6, NS). In contrast, serum ferritin concentrations were much higher in patients in group I than in those in group II [137.7 (12.4-410.2) vs. 87.6 (2.4-420.0) ng/ml p < 0.05]. At the time of inclusion in this study 10 patients in group I were receiving diuretics or non-selective beta adrenergic blockers compared with 24 patients in group II (p < 0.05).


Diabetes mellitus is more prevalent in patients with cirrhosis due to HVC than in those with cirrhosis due to other etiologic agents. Moreover, basal insulinemia values are higher in these patients, which could be explained by an increase in half insulin resistance associated with an increase in iron deposits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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