Background: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of diabetes, impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in Iranian patients with thalassemia major.
Methods: The current study has been conducted based on PRISMA guideline. To obtain the documents, Persian and English scientific databases such as Magiran, Iranmedex, SID, Medlib, IranDoc, Scopus, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Cochrane, Web of Science, Springer, Wiley Online Library as well as Google Scholar were searched until December 2015. All steps of the study were conducted by two authors independently. To the high heterogeneity of the studies, the random effect model was used to combine studies. Data were analyzed using STATA Version 11.1 software.
Results: Thirty-two studies involving 3959 major thalassemia patients with mean age of 16.83 years were included in the meta-analysis. The prevalence of diabetes in Iranian patients with thalassemia major was estimated as 9% (95% CI: 6.8-10.5) and estimated rate was 12.6% (95% CI: 6.1-19.1) for males and 10.8% (95% CI: 8.2-14.5) for females. The prevalence of IFG and IGT were 12.9% (95% CI: 7-18.8) and 9.6% (95% CI: 6.6-12.5) respectively. No relationship between serum ferritin and development of diabetes was noted.
Conclusion: The prevalence of diabetes, IFG, and IGT in patients with thalassemia major in Iran is high and accordingly requires new management strategies and policies to minimize endocrine disorders in Iranian patients with thalassemia major. Screening of patients for the early diagnosis of endocrine disorders particularly diabetes, IFG, and IGT is recommended.