Hepatitis C presents increased risk of metabolic syndrome
It appears that the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is heightened in the presence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection but is reduced only in lean patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, a study has found.
The study included 180,359 individuals aged ≥40 years who underwent a series of community‐based health screenings. Of these, 18,726 (10.4 percent) had HBV, 13,428 (7.4 percent) had HCV and 1,337 (0.7 percent) had HBV plus HCV (B+C). The remaining 146,868 (81.5 percent) were non‐HBV/non‐HCV controls (NBNC).
MetS had a prevalence rate of 30.1 percent overall. For the subgroups, prevalence rates were 25.2 percent in patients with HBV, 31.5 percent in those with HCV, 28.9 percent in those with B+C and 30.7 percent in NBNC controls (p<0.001).
Among 54,361 individuals with MetS, body mass index status was lean in 18.8 percent, overweight in 35.4 percent and obese in 45.8 percent. Compared with obese individuals with MetS, their lean counterparts were older, had more diabetes and had higher metabolic component levels, but had lower alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase‐platelet ratio index levels.
Logistic regression analysis showed a significant, positive association between HCV infection and MetS (p<0.001). On the other hand, HBV infection was inversely associated with MetS only among lean individuals (p=0.002) but not among the general population.
Researchers pointed out that older age and female gender are the two most important factors contributing to an increased risk of MetS, which is highly prevalent in postmenopausal women.
Additionally, the current study demonstrates that lean MetS, similar to lean nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, may exhibit more manifestations of extrahepatic diseases but not increase the risk of hepatic severity compared with obese MetS, they said.