Relationship of genetic polymorphisms in cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and interleukin-18 (IL-18) with susceptibility to viral hepatitis was already investigated by many association studies. The aim of this study was to more comprehensively analyse associations between genetic polymorphisms in CTLA-4/IL-18 and viral hepatitis by combing the results of all relevant association studies. We searched Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science and CNKI for eligible studies. We used Review Manager to combine the results of eligible studies. Thirty-seven studies were finally included in this meta-analysis. Combined results demonstrated that CTLA-4 rs231775 (recessive comparison: OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.11–1.55), IL-18 rs1946518 (dominant comparison: OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.75–0.90; recessive comparison: OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.11–1.50; allele comparison: OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.68–0.86) and IL-18 rs187238 (dominant comparison: OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.03–1.52; allele comparison: OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.05–1.37) polymorphisms were all significantly associated with viral hepatitis in the general population. Further subgroup analyses revealed that CTLA-4 rs231775, IL-18 rs1946518 and IL-18 rs187238 polymorphisms were significantly associated with susceptibility to hepatitis B virus (HBV), especially among East Asians. Moreover, CTLA-4 rs5742909, IL-18 rs1946518 and IL-18 rs187238 polymorphisms were also significantly associated with susceptibility to hepatitis C virus (HCV), especially among South Asians. So to conclude, this meta-analysis demonstrated that CTLA-4 rs231775, IL-18 rs1946518 and IL-18 rs187238 polymorphisms may confer susceptibility to HBV in East Asians, while CTLA-4 rs5742909, IL-18 rs1946518 and IL-18 rs187238 polymorphisms may confer susceptibility to HCV in South Asians.