Overweight people between the ages of 44 and 65 already have a higher chance
of developing type 2 diabetes, and adding hepatitis C to the mix
significantly increases their diabetic risk.
Hepatitis C is common among adults with type 2 diabetes, but it has always
been uncertain whether the virus precedes the development of diabetes.
As reported in the July issue of Hepatology, researchers found that
hepatitis C patients already at high risk of developing diabetes were more
than 11 times as likely to develop the disease as hepatitis C patients
without any pre-existing diabetes risk factors.
In the absence of diabetes risk factors such as older age and higher body
weight, there was no increase in diabetes risk for hepatitis C patients.
The researchers studied 1,084 adults between the ages of 44 and 65 who were
free of diabetes at the beginning of the study. A total of 548 developed
diabetes over the next nine years. The overall prevalence of hepatitis C in
this population was 0.8 percent.
Persons were categorized as low-risk or high-risk for diabetes based on
their age and body mass index, factors that appeared to modify the type 2
diabetes-hepatitis C infection incidence estimates.
The researchers emphasized that their findings should be considered
preliminary until confirmed by larger prospective studies.