Those with both hepatitis C and diabetes had a higher
mortality rate when compared with those who had either condition alone,
according to research presented during Digestive Disease Week 2012.
“When we observed the rates for patients who had
both hepatitis C and diabetes, we saw that the mortality rate was significantly
increased — at least three times the amount of patients died in the group
with both hepatitis C and diabetes compared with patients who had neither
condition,” Meira Abramowitz, MD, of the division of internal
medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., told Infectious
Abramowitz and colleagues conducted a retrospective
chart review of patients treated at the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System
from 2002 to 2003. Mortality data were collected from 2011.
Patients with HCV were identified from a registry of
more than 6,000 patients with HCV. These patients were age-matched with other
patients without HCV from the VA system, some of whom had diabetes.
The final cohort included 1,846 patients, of whom 18.8%
had neither HCV nor diabetes and 12.8% had both. Of the 579 patients with
diabetes, 31.3% died vs. 20.6% of the 1,213 patients without diabetes. Of the
1,141 patients with HCV, 24.5% died vs. 24.1% of the 692 patients without HCV.
Of the 237 patients with both HCV and diabetes, 36.3%
died vs. 20.8% of the 867 patients with HCV alone, 27.8% of the 342 patients
with diabetes alone and 20.2% of the 346 patients with neither disease. The OR
for mortality in patients with diabetes vs. patients without diabetes was 1.7
(95% CI, 1.3-2.24). This increased to 1.89 when the researchers compared
patients with both HCV and diabetes to patients with neither disease (95% CI,
“We are not entirely sure why this mortality
increase took place because both of these conditions have their own individual
complications,” Abramowitz said. “Hepatitis C can develop into
hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatic encephalopathy, while diabetes can
progress into diabetic nephropathy and diabetic neuropathy with accompanying
- Abramowitz M. #MO1905. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week 2012
Annual Meeting; May 19-22; San Diego.
- Dr. Abramowitz reports no relevant financial disclosures.