Cytomegalovirus May Up Risk of Diabetes, CVD in Some Women

Conversely, for women with extreme obesity, CMV may offer protection against CVD, DM

overweight woman

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection may make some women more susceptible to both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, according to research published online Feb. 23 in Obesity.

Shannon Fleck-Derderian, M.P.H., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues examined data on 2,532 individuals nationwide between the ages 20 and 49, from 1999 to 2004. Associations were compared between CMV and signs of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in participants divided into one of four categories: normal weight, overweight, obese, and extremely obese.

After taking into account other contributing factors such as age, ethnicity, and poverty, the researchers found that 4.9 percent of normal-weight women infected with CMV had at least three risk factors for MetS. But, the same was true for less than 1 percent of normal-weight women who were not infected. Furthermore, 27.4 percent of women infected with CMV also had lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, compared to 18.6 percent of the normal-weight women without infection. The investigators found that 56.2 percent of the extremely obese women infected with CMV had three or more risk factors associated with MetS. This compared to 82.6 percent of the extremely obese women uninfected. These very obese CMV-infected women also had higher levels of HDL cholesterol and lower levels of triglycerides.

"CMV infection was found to be associated with unique MetS phenotypes that differ between body mass index categories and gender," the authors write. "Seropositive normal-weight females had a higher prevalence of MetS and dyslipidemia, while infection in females with extreme obesity was associated with a more metabolically benign profile."

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