AIMS: The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to estimate the prevalence and incidence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, SCOPUS, Web of Science, EMBASE and LILACS databases of published observational studies in LAC up to December 2020. Meta-analyses of proportions were performed using random-effects models using Stata Program 15.1. Heterogeneity was evaluated through sensitivity, subgroup, and meta-regression analyses. Evidence certainty was performed with the GRADE approach.
RESULTS: Twenty-nine studies from eight countries were included. The estimated prevalence of DPN was 46.5% (95%CI: 38.0-55.0) with a significant heterogeneity (I2 = 98.2%; p<0.01). Only two studies reported incidence, and the pooled effect size was 13.7% (95%CI: 10.6-17.2). We found an increasing trend of cumulative DPN prevalence over time. The main sources of heterogeneity associated with higher prevalence were diagnosis criteria, higher A1c (%), and inadequate sample size. We judge the included evidence as very low certainty.
CONCLUSION: The overall prevalence of DPN is high in LAC with significant heterogeneity between and within countries that could be explained by population type and methodological aspects. Significant gaps (e.g., under-representation of most countries, lack of incidence studies, and heterogenous case definition) were identified. Standardized and population-based studies of DPN in LAC are needed.