Objective: To determine insulin resistance in chronic hepatitis C patients and assess the effects of insulin resistance on laboratory and histopathological parameters of chronic hepatitis C.
Methodology: The study included 50 person divided into 30 adult chronic hepatitis C patients diagnosed by PCR within previous 6 months and 20 healthy controls. The functional and morphological status of the liver was evaluated by ultrasonography and laboratory investigations including liver function tests and liver biopsy. Fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin levels were measured and body mass index and insulin resistance were calculated. Patients having HOMA-IR >2.5 were labeled as insulin resistant.
Results: Thirty patients including19 (63.3%) male and 11 (36.7%) females with mean (±SD) age of 39.5±9.5 years were enrolled for this study. The mean (±SD) of HOMA-IR was 1.84±1.06. Eight (26.7%) patients had HOMA-IR values greater than 2.5, which was consistent with IR diagnosis. patients with IR have higher BMI (p = 0.000), higher degree of hepatic steastosis (p = 0.006) and inflammatory activity (p = 0.05) compared to patients without IR. In conclusion, insulin resistance is a potentially modifiable factor that can aggravate hepatic steatosis and accelerates hepatic fibrosis.
KEY WORDS: Chronic Hepatitis C Infection, HOMA-IR, BMI.