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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 May;30(5):879-84. doi: 10.1111/jgh.12313.

Chronic hepatitis C infection is associated with insulin resistance and lipid profiles.

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Hepatobiliary Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Hepatitis Center, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Faculty of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been suggested to be associated with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and lipid profiles. This study aimed to investigate the possible relationships of insulin resistance (IR) and lipid profiles with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients in Taiwan.


We enrolled 160 hospital-based CHC patients with liver biopsy and the 480 controlled individuals without CHC and chronic hepatitis B from communities without known history of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TGs), alanine aminotransferase, and serum insulin levels, and homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) were tested.


When comparing factors between CHC patients, and sex- and age-matched controls who had no HCV infection, patients with HCV infection had a significantly higher alanine aminotransferase level, fasting plasma glucose level, insulin level, and HOMA-IR (P < 0.001, P = 0.023, P = 0.017, and P = 0.011, respectively), and significantly lower TG level (P = 0.023), total cholesterol, and HDL-C and LDL-C levels (all P < 0.001) than 480 controls. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, a low total cholesterol, a low TGs, and a high HOMA-IR are independent factors significantly associated with chronic HCV infection. In the 160 CHC patients (41 patients with high HOMA-IR [> 2.5]), a high body mass index, TGs, and HCV RNA level are independent factors significantly associated with high HOMA-IR in multivariate logistic analyses.


Chronic HCV infection was associated with metabolic characteristics including IR and lipid profile. IR was also associated with virological characteristics.


chronic hepatitis C; genotype; insulin resistance; lipid; viral load

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