Individuals with increased body mass index (BMI) are at risk of developing non-communicable diseases. These complications can be exuberated by hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This study determined the prevalence of HCV infection and assessed the lipid profile in overweight and obese –persons.This cross-sectional study recruited participants from gymnastic centers and open parks, where these individuals normally visit for routine exercises. Information on age and sex were obtained by oral interview. Blood samples were collected and serum extracted, stored at -95oC until tested. Anti-HCV antibodies were detected using EIA 4th Generation kit ALT, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and high density lipoprotein were estimated by colorimetric methods. All the participants had BMI calculated from measured height and weight. Of 210-overweight individuals enrolled in this study, 47.6% were males and 52.4% females, with mean age of 32.6±8.7. The sero-prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies was 6.2 % (13/210). The females had higher seropositivity than the males, 3.8% and 2.4%respectively, while those in the age group of ≤34 and 35-44 years old had HCV infection of 2.9% each. Among the obese participants, 46.7% (98/210), 6.2% had HCV infection (p=0.005). The ALT, triglyceride and high density lipoprotein wereincreased in HCV positive subjects when compared with non-HCV infected persons. Majority of the participants with HCV infection, 2.9%, 1.4%, had grade 3 and 4 elevated ALT values respectively. The 6.2% of the participants with HCV, had elevated triglyceride (p=0.002) whereas 5.2% had elevated high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (p=0.02). Though not statistically significant, 4.3% of the subjects had increased total cholesterol (p=0.14) The findings in this studyshowed that obese individuals are more likely sustain HCV infection due to high deposit of lipids in the form of triglycerides, high density lipoproteins and total cholesterol.
Keywords: ALT, Anti-HCV antibodies, Body mass index, Lipid profile