Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been associated with insulin resistance or diabetes mellitus, but data are controversial on the role of different HCV genotypes in causing insulin resistance. We have designed a study aimed at determining insulin resistance in patients with chronic hepatitis C with predominant genotype 3. Insulin resistance was measured using a homeostasis model of assessment for insulin resistance in 85 non-diabetic, non-cirrhotic patients with chronic hepatitis C (genotype 3 = 54). The results were compared with 38 biopsy-proven patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and 25 age- and body mass index-matched healthy volunteers. Patients with chronic hepatitis C had a higher fasting insulin and homeostasis model of assessment for insulin resistance values than healthy volunteers (P = 0.0001). A large number of patients with chronic hepatitis C showed evidence of insulin resistance than healthy controls [53 (62.3%) vs. 4 (16%), respectively] (P < 0.0001). Of the various risk factors studied for insulin resistance in patients with chronic hepatitis C, higher waist (P = 0.010) and higher serum triglycerides (P = 0.002) were found to correlate with HOMA-insulin resistance. There was no difference in insulin resistance amongst patients with genotype 1 or 3, respectively. Based on these results, we conclude that insulin resistance is common among non-diabetic, non-cirrhotic patients with chronic hepatitis C. A majority of these patients had genotype 3, but there was no difference in insulin resistance between genotype 1 and genotype 3 patients.
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