Further evidence for an association between non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and chronic hepatitis C virus infection



Non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) may be associated with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This was studied further in two parts. First, 1,151 patients with HCV-related cirrhosis and 181 patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related cirrhosis, well matched for age, sex, and severity of cirrhosis, were reviewed retrospectively. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus was higher in HCV-related cirrhosis (23.6%) than in HBV-related cirrhosis (9.4%; odds ratio [OR], 2.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6-4.79; P = .0002). The prevalence of diabetes mellitus was associated closely with the Child-Pugh score (OR, 3.83; 95% CI, 2.38-6.17; P < .0001) and increasing age (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.00-1.03;P= .0117). Second, 235 patients with biopsy confirmed chronic HBV or HCV underwent an oral glucose tolerance test. Only 1 of 70 patients with chronic viral hepatitis without cirrhosis was diabetic. However, 31 of 127 patients with HCV-related cirrhosis (24.4%) were diabetic compared with 3 of 38 patients with HBV-related cirrhosis (7.9%,P= .0477). The major variables associated with NIDDM were cirrhosis (OR, 14.39; 95% CI, 1.91-108;P= .0096) and male sex (OR, 4.64; 95% CI, 1.32-16.18;P= .0161). Fasting insulin levels in 30 patients with HCV-related cirrhosis and diabetes mellitus were elevated significantly, which was consistent with insulin resistance. However, acute insulin responsiveness was reduced in all patients with HCV infection and diabetes suggesting concomitant B-cell dysfunction. This study confirms an association between HCV and NIDDM.