Herpes Virus Ups Risk of Adult Diabetes

Published Online: Friday, April 1, 2005

Individuals infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) may have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 50%, according to a report from the Peking Union Medical College. Earlier studies have indicated the hepatitis C virus infection as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Yet, there is a chance that infection with other viruses may make individuals more susceptible to the disease as well.

The current study tested 206 participants with type 2 diabetes for HSV-1 infection and a control group of 1360 participants without diabetes. The researchers noted that all of the participants were negative for hepatitis C virus antibodies. The results of the study found that 46% of the patients with diabetes were infected with HSV-1, compared with 36% of the controls. Reporting in Diabetes Care (February 2005), the researchers said that individuals with diabetes comprised 16% of the group with HSV-1 but only 11% of those were free of the virus.

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