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Keywords:

  • chronic hepatitis C;
  • insulin resistance;
  • metabolic syndrome;
  • non-alcoholic steatohepatitis;
  • obesity;
  • steatosis

Abstract

Hepatitis C is a common cause of chronic viral infection of the liver. It is associated with insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is also associated with the development of hepatic steatosis. The presence of hepatic steatosis is associated with an increased risk of having hepatic fibrosis. This is also associated with the severity of insulin resistance. These findings are specifically germane for those with genotype1 infection. Genotype 3 infection independently causes steatosis and successful treatment of the virus is followed by resolution of steatosis. In genotype 1 infection, the presence of hepatic steatosis is also a risk factor for failure to respond to pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy. Unfortunately efforts to treat insulin resistance prior to antiviral therapy have not been very successful. Newer efforts focused on the role of specific micro RNAs in mediating the metabolic effects of hepatitis C virus infection may provide to ameliorate the metabolic risks of HCV infection.