There is evidence to support an association between diabetes mellitus (DM) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The insulin resistant state of pregnancy suggests a predisposition to developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in women infected with HCV. The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of GDM and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) of pregnancy between women infected with HCV and the general population of British Columbia screened for GDM.
The HCV cohort was drawn from a population-based prospective cohort of 148 pregnant women infected with HCV in British Columbia. GDM screening tests were completed in 84 women. The prevalence of GDM and IGT of pregnancy in the general population of British Columbia was estimated by acquiring 24 321 GDM screening tests performed by the two major laboratories in the province.
Non-compliance was the primary reason for incomplete screening. The prevalence of GDM was 9.5% in the HCV cohort and 6.8% in the screened general population (chi-square test P = 0.33). Similarly, there was no difference in IGT of pregnancy between the two cohorts (2.4% vs. 3.5%; chi-square test P = 0.57).
A difference in the prevalence of either GDM or IGT of pregnancy was not detected between HCV-infected patients who were screened for GDM and those screened in the general population. Further studies are required to assess whether HCV infection is an independent risk factor for GDM.