Exploring the role of viral infection in type 2 diabetes

Bertram Wolf Roberts, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Viral infection is known to play a role in type I diabetes, but there is a paucity of information on the role of viruses in type 2 diabetes. This research examined the seroprevalence of selected viruses in a group of predominantly Mexican-American patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Using a case control design, patients with type 2 diabetes were compared with a group of non-diabetic controls. One hundred and thirteen patients, 83 with type 2 diabetes and 30 controls without diabetes, underwent hemodialysis at the same chronic dialysis facility in San Antonio, Texas. AD subjects were tested for IgG, IgM, and neutralizing antibodies against Coxsackie B viruses (CBV), and IgG and IgM antibodies against cytomegalovirus (CMV) and parvovirus B19 (PVB19). Hepatitis B virus antigen (HBVAg), Hepatitis B virus antibody (HBVAb), Hepatitis C virus antibody (HCVAb), and Rubella (IgG) were also measured. A subset of 91 patients, 66 with diabetes and 25 controls, were tested bimonthly for six months. There was a significant difference (P = 0.04) in the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to CMV between patients with type 2 diabetes (98%) and non-diabetic controls (87%) in the initial sample (OR = 6.2, 95% CI:1.1–36.0). A greater seroprevalence of CMV IgG antibodies was observed over the six month period among patients with type 2 diabetes (M) compared to controls (84%). This difference was also statistically (P < 0.03), with a greater odds ratio (OR = 12.4, 95% CI: 1.3–116.9), but with larger confidence interval related to the small number of subjects. However, when adjusted for age by logistic regression analysis there was no difference between the groups (OR = 1). After one sample, there was a greater seroprevalence of HCVAb in the group without diabetes (28%), compared to those with type 2 diabetes (10%) (P = 0.04). This difference was no longer significant when adjusted for patient age. The prevalence of antibodies to PVB19, HBSAg, HBV, and Rubella was not significantly different in patients with type 2 diabetes and controls. There were significantly more vascular complications (P < 0.02) among patients with diabetes. These results indicate that the significant associations observed in this population between viral infection with CMV, HCV, and type 2 diabetes are confounded by age. Accelerated atherosclerosis has been associated with age, diabetes, as well as CMV. Latent infection may be a factor that links these processes.

Subject Area

Public health|Surgery

Recommended Citation

Roberts, Bertram Wolf, "Exploring the role of viral infection in type 2 diabetes" (1998). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9916069.