Purpose: This meta-analysis was conducted to determine the prevalence and risk factors of fatigue in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Methods: Observational studies reporting the prevalence and risk factors of fatigue in type 1 or 2 DM were systematically searched for in PubMed, Embase, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane Trial, and ProQuest Dissertation and Theses databases. Data were extracted by two independent reviewers. A random-effect model was used for data analysis. Findings: We included 19 studies involving 7131 patients with type 1 DM and 32 studies involving 34,994 patients with type 2 DM in the study. The pooled prevalence of fatigue in type 1 and type 2 DM was 44% and 50%, respectively. The Asia–Pacific region (e.g., Japan and Australia), South America, and Africa lacked reports regarding fatigue prevalence in type 1 DM, and North Asia and Southeast Asia lacked reports of fatigue prevalence in type 2 DM. Depression and physical activity were the only two variables significantly correlated with fatigue in both type 1 and type 2 DM (all p < 0.05). Conclusions: Approximately half of the patients with type 1 or type 2 DM experienced fatigue, with the prevalence of 44% and 50%, respectively. Our findings regarding its risk factors can provide an evidence-based approach for managing fatigue in DM patients. Clinical relevance: This meta-analysis emphasizes the importance of fatigue management in patients with type 1 and type 2 DM. Most significantly, our results on risk factors related to fatigue in diabetes can contribute to the development of evidence-based strategies for managing fatigue in individuals with DM.
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