September 23, 2013

Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 Jul;108(7):1108-11. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.90. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Montenegro L, De Michina A, Misciagna G, Guerra V, Di Leo A.

Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, Hospital Policlinico, Bari, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The relationship between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM 2) is still uncertain. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between HCV infection, measured as positivity to anti-HCV antibodies, and the incidence of DM 2 in a cohort of subjects sampled from the general population and followed up for 20 years.

METHODS: At baseline, the cohort consisted of a random sample of 2,472 subjects (72% response rate, age range 30-69 years) from the electoral register of a town in Southern Italy. The cohort subjects were examined three times: in 1985 (M1), in 1992 (M2), and in 2005 (M3). At M1, M2, and M3, each participant filled in a questionnaire and had a blood sample taken to measure blood glucose and other serum variables including glutamic pyruvic alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Anti-HCV antibodies were analyzed with standard techniques at M1 and M2. Diabetes type 2 diagnosis was a history of diabetes and/or serum glucose ≥126 mg/dl and/or treatment with insulin or hypoglycemic drugs. Logistic regression was used for multivariable data analysis.

RESULTS: Diabetes prevalence was higher in subjects with positive anti-HCV antibodies at M1 and M2, and diabetes incidence was higher in subjects with baseline positive anti-HCV antibodies at M1-M2 and lower at M2-M3. In multivariable models, controlling for gender, age, and body mass index (BMI), there was no association between incident cases of diabetes and positive anti-HCV antibodies at baseline, either at M1-M2 (odds ratio (OR) 0.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.43-1.22) or at M2-M3 (0.65, 0.41-1.04). HCV was associated with DM 2 only in subjects with elevated ALT (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.31-1.08, if ALT normal; OR 1.47, 95% CI 1-2.16, if ALT elevated, controlling for age, gender, and BMI).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings, in a cohort study at population level, support an association between the presence of anti-HCV antibodies at baseline and a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes in the following 20 years only in subjects with elevated ALT.

PMID: 23567360 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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