Many reports in the literature suggest that chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with diabetes, but the results are conflicting. The aim of our study was to investigate the seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HCV infections in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients.
We collected 820 consecutive type 2 diabetic patients attending 2 of 5 outpatient endocrinology clinics in Far Eastern Memorial Hospital from March to July 2003. The control group consisted of 905 subjects who came for medical check-ups at the Family Medicine Department. We determined hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-HCV in both groups, using third-generation microparticle enzyme immunoassay.
No significant difference was found between type 2 DM patients and the control group for seropositivity of HBsAg (13.5% versus 12.4%; odds ratio [OR] = 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.77–1.55; p = 0.441), but anti-HCV seropositivity was detected in 6.8% of patients and 2.6% of the control subjects (OR = 2.87; 95% CI: 1.51–5.46; p < 0.001). In anti-HCV-positive DM patients, abnormal alanine aminotransferase was observed in 61.8%, compared with only 34.2% of anti-HCV-negative DM patients (p < 0.001). We did not observe any difference in risk factors for HCV infection between anti-HCV-positive and -negative DM patients.
The rate of seropositive anti-HCV is 2.8 times higher in type 2 DM patients than non-diabetic control subjects.