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Comorbid hepatitis C does not modulate prevalence or severity of diabetic retinopathy

Authors Koenig LR, Rosenblatt R, Patel RM, Wu Y, Papakostas TD, Orlin A, Chan RVP, Kiss S, D'Amico DJ, Kumar S, Gupta MP

Received 22 March 2019

Accepted for publication 19 July 2019

Published 3 September 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 1681—1687


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Lisa R Koenig,1 Russell Rosenblatt,2 Rahil M Patel,3 Yiyuan Wu,4 Thanos D Papakostas,1 Anton Orlin,1 Robison V Paul Chan,1 Szilard Kiss,1 Donald J D’Amico,1 Sonal Kumar,2 Mrinali P Gupta1

1Department of Ophthalmology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA; 2Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA; 3Columbia College of Columbia University in the City of New York, New York, NY, USA; 4Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Correspondence: Mrinali P Gupta
Department of Ophthalmology, Weill Cornell Medicine, 1305 York Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10021, USA
Tel +1 646 962 2217
Fax +1 646 962 0600

Purpose: There are limited and conflicting data regarding the impact of comorbid hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection on diabetic retinopathy (DR). This study sought to compare the prevalence and severity of DR among patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) with and without HCV.
Patients and methods: This was a retrospective, case–control study of patients with DM comparing 120 patients with comorbid HCV and 120 age-matched controls. DR prevalence and several measures of severity were compared between groups. Subgroup analyses were performed among HCV patients with cirrhosis, comorbid HIV, or history of treatment with interferon. Statistical analysis for between-group comparisons utilized both univariate and multivariate analyses.
Results: Cases and controls exhibited similar baseline characteristics: average hemoglobin A1c, DM duration, and age (p>0.05). Among cases and controls, there was no difference in DR prevalence (35.8% versus 42.5%, respectively, p=0.29) or severity (p>0.05). Within the HCV subgroup, DR severity was reduced in patients with HIV or cirrhosis. However, multivariate analysis identified reduced DM duration in these subgroups as the primary contributor to lesser DR severity, rather than HIV or cirrhosis.
Conclusion: In this study, comorbid HCV did not modulate the prevalence or severity of DR among patients with DM. These findings may inform clinical monitoring among HCV-positive diabetics undergoing ophthalmic evaluation.

Keywords: cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus, retinopathy, hepatitis

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