Introduction: Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and type 2 diabetes mellitus cause long-term complications in affected patients. Moreover, both disorders are common. Recent cross-sectional studies performed worldwide suggest that they are indeed closely linked. Diabetic patients are at an increased risk of acquiring (HCV) infection because of the nature of the disease and its complications or frequent parenteral exposure. On the other hand Hepatitis C infection may itself contribute to the development of Diabetes Mellitus. The epidemiological evidence of this association has not been studied in Myanmar. Objective: It was to study the frequency of HCV infection among adult diabetic patients attending the diabetic clinic of a hospital in Myanmar.
Method: The study is a hospital based cross sectional study, comprised of 100 diabetic patients visiting the diabetic clinic of Yangon General Hospital, in Myanmar. Subjects were previously confirmed diabetes cases or newly diagnosed diabetes according to World Health Organization criteria. The presence of (HCV) infection was tested by SERODIA-HCV Gelatin Particle Agglutination Test method at the National Health Laboratory of Union of Myanmar. A concise history of the patient, examination and laboratory findings were recorded on a proforma.
Result: Out of 100 diabetics, 19 were found to be anti-HCV positive and all of them had type 2 diabetes mellitus. There was no gender difference in the seropositive cases. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level was raised in 73.7% of the positive cases as compared to the 18.5% of the seronegative patients. Hepatomegaly was found in 68.4% in seropositive cases in contrast to 18.5% of seronegative cases.
Conclusion: (HCV) infection occurs more often in type 2 diabetics and further investigations should be done in diabetic patients with raised ALT for the presence of chronic (HCV) infection.