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Reuters Health Information (2005-10-25): Hepatitis C infection associated with type 2 diabetes


Hepatitis C infection associated with type 2 diabetes

Last Updated: 2005-10-25 10:21:35 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - There appears to be a connection between non-cirrhotic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and type 2 diabetes, Italian researchers report in the October issue of Diabetes Care.

Dr. Alessandro Antonelli of the University of Pisa and colleagues note that there have been some reports of an association between type 2 diabetes and HCV but at least one large study did not confirm this.

To investigate further, the researchers studied 564 patients with non-cirrhotic HCV, 82 with non-cirrhotic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and 302 matched controls.

Significantly more of the HCV patients (12.6%) had diabetes compared with the HBV patients (4.9%) and the controls (7.0%).

The data, say the researchers, suggest that HCV-related hepatitis is associated with diabetes at a stage when liver function is largely preserved.

They also note that HCV patients with diabetes were significantly leaner, with a body mass index of 25.7 versus 29.7 for HCV-negative diabetics. Their LDL cholesterol concentration was also lower (3.2 versus 3.6 mmol/L).

The team calls for investigation of the underlying mechanisms and "to test whether antiviral therapy for HCV infection may prevent the appearance of type 2 diabetes."

Diabetes Care 2005;28:2548-2550.

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