Introduction: Hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection is caused by an RNA virus. HCV infection is considered to induce systemic disease that causes steatosis, alters lipid metabolism, and results in metabolic syndrome. This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic outcome in HCV genotype 3 patients with metabolic syndrome.
Materials and methods: A total of 621 HCV-positive patients who visited the hospital for treatment were screened. Among these, 441 patients were enrolled for antiviral therapy. These enrolled patients were assessed for metabolic syndrome according to the International Diabetes Federation criteria. Group A included patients with metabolic syndrome and group B included patients without metabolic syndrome. All patients received peginterferon-α2a (180 μg/week) and ribavirin (10 mg/kg/day) for 6 months.
Results: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in chronic HCV patients was 37.9%. We observed that metabolic syndrome was more common among female compared with male participants (43.9 vs. 28.8%, P=0.005). It was found that sustained virologic response (SVR) rates were significantly higher in the patients in group B (without metabolic syndrome) compared with the patients in group A who had metabolic syndrome (72.2 vs. 43.7%, P<0.05). Older patients were at a higher risk for metabolic syndrome and a correlation of metabolic syndrome with nonresponse to antiviral therapy was observed. An interesting correlation among metabolic syndrome, age, and SVR was found: with age, SVR decreases, while metabolic syndrome increases.
Conclusion: Metabolic syndrome has an influence on therapeutic outcomes in terms of SVR. Moreover, this information can identify patients who might have a low chance of attaining an SVR and a timely decision may protect the patients from the adverse effects of therapy.