There is a recognized association between diabetes mellitus and HCV.
However, no study has examined whether there is an independent association between the degree of hepatic fibrosis and the incidence of diabetes in HCV patients.
In this study, researchers from Pennsylvania, USA, reviewed 264 consecutive patients with chronic HCV infection at a referral liver center, between 1991 and 1999.
The research team assessed patient's demographic background, medical history, and laboratory and liver biopsy results.
|Prevalence of diabetes = 16%.|
|British Journal of Cancer|
The researchers determined that the prevalence of diabetes was 16%.
They found that gender, intravenous drug use, steatosis scores, aminotransferase levels and iron studies were similar in patients with and without diabetes. However, mean age was higher in the diabetic group (49.8 years versus 44.3 years).
The team found that the prevalence of diabetes was substantially higher in African-Americans, and those with a BMI > 30.
The fibrosis score was higher in diabetics, however this association did not remain significant when diabetic risk factors were controlled for.
The researchers found that the degree of steatosis and fibrosis both increased with increasing BMI. Even after controlling for diabetes, age, gender, race, and current alcohol use, this association remained.
Dr Friedenberg's team concluded, "The prevalence of diabetes in our group of HCV patients was high, consistent with other studies".
"Diabetes is not an independent predictor of degree of fibrosis."
"Body mass index is an independent predictor of both fibrosis and steatosis in HCV patients."