Insulin resistance in chronic hepatitis B and C

Amir Houshang Mohammad Alizadeh, Farahnaz Fallahian, Seyed Moayed Alavian, Mitra Ranjbar, Mehdi Hedayati, Farzaneh Rahimi, Hossein Khedmat, Arash Etemadi, Mohammad Reza Zali, Fereidoun Azizi
Indian Journal of Gastroenterology: Official Journal of the Indian Society of Gastroenterology 2006, 25 (6): 286-9

AIM: To determine whether insulin resistance occurs in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and its relationship with the presence of liver fibrosis and steatosis.

METHODS: Untreated patients with CHC (n=60) or CHB (n=40), similar in age, gender, body mass index and waist-hip ratio, were studied. Relationship between anthropometric, biochemical (fasting serum insulin, C-peptide, ferritin, iron, TNF-alpha, cholesterol, triglyceride, bilirubin, hemoglobin and platelet concentrations) and liver biopsy (43 CHC and 20 CHB patients) findings was investigated by insulin resistance determined via the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR).

RESULTS: The mean fasting serum insulin was 14.9 (11.9) mU/mL in CHC and 21.4 (17.4) in the CHB group (normal range 0.7-9; p=0.049) and mean HOMA-IR was 3.1 (2.6) in CHC versus 4.7 (4.1) in the CHB group (normal range 0.12-4.61; p=0.036). HOMA-IR was significantly associated with fibrosis stage in the CHC group (p=0.015), but not in the CHB group.

CONCLUSION: Hyperinsulinemia occurs in chronic viral hepatitis B and hepatitis C; insulin resistance is associated with stage of fibrosis in hepatitis C.

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