Background/Aims: Our aim was to evaluate the relationship between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and development of diabetes mellitus (DM) or insulin resistance (IR) in comparison with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and eradication of HCV infection by interferon treatment.
Methods: This study consisted of 952 outpatients, including 544 HCV-infected (HCV+chronic), 286 HBV-infected (HBV+chronic) and 122 patients whose HCV was cleared by interferon treatment (HCV+cleared) (diabetes study). Among 849 without overt DM, IR was assessed in 423 patients, including 232 HCV-infected (HCV+chronic), 135 HBV-infected (HBV+chronic) and 56 HCV-eradicated patients (HCV+cleared) (IR substudy).
Results: The prevalence of DM in the HBV+chronic, HCV+chronic and HCV+cleared groups was 6.3, 13.6 and 9.0%, respectively (HBV+chronic vs HCV+chronic, P<0.005), in the diabetes study, and the prevalence of IR in the HCV+chronic group (54.3%) was also higher than that in the HBV+chronic (36.3%) (P<0.005) and HCV+cleared groups (35.7%) (P<0.05) in the IR substudy. However, HCV infection was not shown to be independently associated with DM development [odds ratio (OR) 1.669; P=0.0936] and with IR (OR 1.531; P=0.2154) by multivariate analysis in comparison with HBV infection as control.
Conclusions: HCV-infected patients showed a higher prevalence of DM and IR than those with HBV infection. However, in Japan, other confounding factors appeared to be more important risk factors for the development of disturbance in glucose metabolism.