Background and aim: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and environmental hepatotoxins may have an indirect influence on health by altering the synthesis and function of hormones, particularly reproductive hormones. We aimed to evaluate liver diseases and sex steroid hormones in Egypt, which has the highest prevalence of HCV worldwide. Methods: We measured markers of hepatitis B virus (HBV), HCV and schistosomiasis infection as well as liver function in 159 apparently healthy subjects. We measured total testosterone (T), sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and albumin, and calculated the free androgen index. Results: Anti-HCV antibodies were detected in 51% of men and 42% of women. Based on HCV reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) of 44 men and 33 women, 11% of men and 21% of women showed HCV viremia. There was schistosomiasis in 25% of men and 9% of women, and mixed HCV viremia and schistosomiasis in 57% of men and 52% of women. Compared with men with schistosomiasis only (mean 593.3 ± 73.4 ng/dL), T was higher in men with mixed HCV viremia and schistosomiasis (mean 854.5 ± 47.9 ng/dL; P = 0.006) and men with mixed chronic HCV and schistosomiasis (mean 812.1 ± 43.3 ng/dL; P = 0.001). Men with mixed chronic HCV and schistosomiasis had also significantly higher SHBG (mean 57.7 ± 3.9 ng/dL) than males with schistosomiasis only (mean 34.8 ± SE 4.5 ng/dL; P = 0.0003). Conclusion: Future investigations should consider that a high prevalence of asymptomatic liver disease may alter associations between hormone concentrations and chronic disease etiology.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)|
|Issue number||7 PT2|
|State||Published - Jul 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas