Prevalence of hepatitis C in Swedish diabetics is low and comparable to that in health care workers.
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology
OBJECTIVES: An association between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and diabetes has been reported, in particular from countries with a high prevalence of HCV. To assess if this association could be found in a region with low prevalence of HCV (0.33%), we determined the prevalence of anti-HCV in a large cohort of patients with diabetes. METHODS: The prevalence of anti-HCV was determined with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 874 patients with diabetes representing 72.5% of a total research cohort of 1205 patients who were invited to participate. The results were confirmed with immunoblot. Samples from confirmed patients were tested for HCV RNA and genotyped. RESULTS: In 499 patients with type 1 diabetes and 375 patients with type 2 diabetes six patients were anti-HCV positive (four with type 1 diabetes and two with type 2 diabetes corresponding to a prevalence of 0.80 and 0.53%, respectively, in accordance with the prevalence among health care workers in Sweden; 0.68%). Liver biopsies in three of the patients showed only mild inflammation without fibrosis and in two of the other three the albumin and/or PT-INR level was normal contradicting any substantial impairment of the liver function. CONCLUSIONS: The low anti-HCV prevalence that we found contradicts an etiologic role of HCV in the development of diabetes in Sweden. The risk of being infected with HCV when attending the health care system seems to be rather small in a low-prevalence area.
- Gastroenterology and Hepatology
- ISSN: 0954-691X