Hilla Knobler, MD; A. Schattner
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Knobler H, Schattner A. Association of Hepatitis C and Diabetes Mellitus. Ann Intern Med. 2001;135:141. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-135-2-200107170-00016
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2001;135(2):141.
TO THE EDITOR:
Mehta and colleagues (1), in a recently published study based on data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), gave compelling evidence for the unique association between chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and diabetes mellitus. In this large cross-sectional survey, they found that HCV-positive persons who were 40 years of age or older had an adjusted odds ratio of 3.77 for type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with HCV-negative persons. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection did not increase the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, this study was limited by a lack of liver biopsy results. Chronic HCV infection is often associated with cirrhosis, a condition that may lead to glucose intolerance in up to 80% of patients and overt diabetes in 20% of patients (2). Therefore, the high prevalence of diabetes in the HCV-positive group but not in the HBV-positive group may also be explained by a higher prevalence of cirrhosis.
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