AIM To evaluate the bidirectional association between metabolic syndrome (MS) components and antiviral treatment response for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. METHODS This retrospective cohort study included 119 HCV + patients treated with pegylated-interferon-α and ribavirin. Metabolic characteristics and laboratory data were collected from medical records. Differences in baseline clinical and demographic risk factors between responders and non-responders were assessed using independent samples t-tests or χ2 tests. The effects of sustained viral response (SVR) to antiviral treatment on de novo impairments in MS components, including impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), were assessed using univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis, while the effect of MS components on SVR was assessed using univariable logistic regression analysis. RESULTS Of the 119 patients, 80 (67%) developed SVR over the average 54 ± 13 mo follow-up. The cumulative risks for de novo T2DM and IFG were 5.07- (95%CI: 1.261-20.4, P = 0.022) and 3.87-fold higher (95%CI: 1.484-10.15, P = 0.006), respectively for non-responders than responders, when adjusted for the baseline risk factors age, sex, HCV genotype, high viral load, and steatosis. Post-treatment triglyceride levels were significantly lower in non-responders than in responders (OR = 0.27; 95%CI: 0.069-0.962, P = 0.044). Age and HCV genotype 3 were significantly different between responders and non-responders, and MS components were not significantly associated with SVR. Steatosis tended to attenuate SVR (OR = 0.596; 95%CI: 0.331-1.073, P = 0.08). CONCLUSION SVR was associated with lower de novo T2DM and IFG incidence and higher triglyceride levels. Patients infected with HCV should undergo T2DM screening and antidiabetic treatment.