Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and metabolic dysfunction in nonobese adults linked

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | General Health | Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 11:30 AM

cytomegalovirus-cmv-infection-metabolic-dysfunction-in-nonobese-adults-linkedCytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is linked to metabolic dysfunction in non-obese adults. Although the link wasn’t found to be strong, researchers do suggest that it is significant. The researchers wrote, “In contrast, [cytomegalovirus] was not associated with metabolic health in obese participants, and there was no association between obesity and [cytomegalovirus].”

The study looked at 9,517 adults in order to determine the link between CMV, obesity, and metabolic characteristics.

Nearly half of the participants tested positive for CMV, and there was no link found between CMV and body mass index (BMI). After adjustments, CMV was found to be associated with metabolic health, but with additional adjustments, the link was no longer present. There was an increased risk of CMV in unhealthy individuals, but who were not obese. Higher odds of cardiovascular disease (CVD) were seen in those with CMV.

The researchers wrote, “We identified a weak by statistically significant association between CMV and metabolic dysfunction in nonobese adults, but not in their obese counterparts. We speculate that in the nonobese, CMV infection may drive metabolic dysfunction, whereas in the obese population excess adiposity is the main cause of metabolic disturbance. As any associations observed with metabolic risk factors were weak, our findings do not justify universal screening of CMV to prevent diabetes, although there appears to be a stronger association between CMV and CVD.”

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection overview

Cytomegalovirus is related to the viruses that cause chickenpox and infectious mononucleosis (mono). Once a person is infected with CMV, it stays with them for life, and nearly 50 to 80 percent of Americans will become infected by the age of 40.

CMV is spread through the contact with and exchange of bodily fluids. Many people infected with CMV won’t become sick and they probably won’t even know they have CMV, but in younger children, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems, CMV can lead to serious complications.

Blood work can be done to confirm a diagnosis of CMV, but majority of patients don’t require treatment for it.

Preventing cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection

Like with many viruses, proper hygiene is the first step in preventing cytomegalovirus infection from being spread and caught. This means washing your hands properly and frequently, not sharing food, beverages or eating utensils – especially with babies, not putting a baby’s pacifier into other’s mouth, not sharing toothbrushes with young children, avoiding contact with saliva when kissing a child, and cleaning toys, countertops and other surface areas commonly in contact with children.

CMV is associated with complications in those at high risk, and some of those complications include:

  • CMV mononucleosis
  • Intestinal complications
  • Liver complications
  • Nervous system complications
  • Lung complications

In order to reduce your risk of complications associated with CMV, it is best that you follow these preventative tips.

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