Shiferaw, W.S., Akalu, T.Y., Work, Y., & Aynalem, Y.A., 2020. Prevalence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Endocrine Disorders, 20, 49. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12902-020-0534-5
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a global health care problem that can impose a substantial economic burden. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a common microvascular complication of DM that increases the potential for morbidity and disability due to ulceration and amputation. Though there is a significant amount of variation in the primary studies on DM regarding the prevalence of DPN in Africa. Hence, this study was aimed to estimate the overall prevalence of DPN in DM patients in Africa.
PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, African Journals OnLine, WHO African Library, and the Cochrane Review were systematically searched online to retrieve related articles. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines was followed. Heterogeneity across the included studies was evaluated by the inconsistency index (I2). Publication bias was examined by funnel plot and Egger’s regression test. The random-effect model was fitted to estimate the pooled prevalence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy among patients in Africa. The meta-analysis was performed using the STATA™ Version 14 software.
Twenty-three studies which includes 269,691 participants were included in the meta-analysis. The overall pooled prevalence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy was 46% (95% CI:36.21–55.78%). Based on the subgroup analysis, the highest prevalence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in DM patients was reported in West Africa at 49.4% (95% CI: 32.74, 66.06).
This study revealed that the overall prevalence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is relatively high in Africa. Hence, DPN needs situation-based interventions and preventive strategies, which are specific to the country. Further meta-analysis is needed to identify associated factors for the occurrence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.