Source Department of Gastroenterology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Chiayi, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
Background: Previous reports have indicated that insulin resistance (IR) is associated with chronic hepatits C virus (HCV) infection. However, the correlations between IR, metabolic syndrome (MS), and serum HCV RNA levels are still controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the relationships between IR, MS, and HCV RNA in patients with chronic genotype 1 or 2 HCV infection.
Methods: One hundred and twenty subjects with chronic genotype 1 or 2 HCV infection with complete clinical data were prospectively enrolled. Baseline and laboratory data were collected and analyzed. IR was defined as a homeostatic model assessment- IR (HOMA-IR) score > 2.5.
Results: Of the 120 patients, 47 (39.2%) had a HOMA-IR > 2.5, and 42 (35%) met the criteria for MS. IR was significantly associated with a high body mass index (p < 0.0001), high waist circumference (p < 0.0001) and high triglyceride level (p = 0.025). IR was an independent predictor of MS. However, in multivariate linear regression analysis, the serum HCV RNA level was not significantly different in chronic hepatitis C patients with or without IR (p = 0.761), and with or without MS (p = 0.292).
Conclusions: IR and MS are not uncommon in patients with chronic hepatitis C. The serum HCV RNA level is not associated with the presence of IR or MS in chronic hepatitis C patients with genotype 1 or 2 infection. The impact of hepatitis C virus on IR is not dose responsive.