Background and Aims: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is reported to be associated with or to cause type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Our study aimed to elucidate the role of triglyceride (TG) and cholesterol (CHOL) levels in the association between anti-HCV seropositivity and T2DM in an HCV-endemic area.
Methods: We analyzed a computerized dataset of 56 338 residents from a community-based comprehensive screening program in Tainan County in southern Taiwan. Fasting glucose, anti-HCV status, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) status, platelet counts, TG levels, CHOL levels, age, gender, and body mass index were included in the analyses. Multivariate logistic analysis was used to identify factors independently associated with T2DM.
Results: Older age, being overweight, thrombocytopenia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia, anti-HCV seropositivity, and HBsAg seronegativity were common factors independently associated with diabetes. Among all models of multiple logistic regression analysis used for identifying factors independently associated with T2DM, anti-HCV seropositivity was only identified in the models that included either hypertriglyceridemia or hypercholesterolemia. When subjects were divided into hyperlipidemia (CHOL, > 200 or TG, > 150 mg/dL; n = 33 393) or non-hyperlipidemia subgroups (CHOL, < 200 and TG, < 150 mg/dL; n = 22 945), anti-HCV seropositivity was identified as an independent factor only in the non-hyperlipidemia subgroup. The odds ratio was 1.35, with a 95% confidence interval of 1.17–1.55.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the lipid level is associated with the relationship between T2DM and anti-HCV seropositivity in non-hyperlipidemic individuals. However, the relationship between HCV and T2DM did not exist when the lipid level was not included in the analysis.