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Over the past two decades a number of severe acute respiratory infection outbreaks such as the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have emerged and presented a considerable global public health threat. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that diabetic subjects are more susceptible to these conditions. However, the prevalence of diabetes in H1N1 and MERS-CoV has not been systematically described. The aim of this study is to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of published reports documenting the prevalence of diabetes in H1N1 and MERS-CoV and compare its frequency in the two viral conditions. Meta-analysis for the proportions of subjects with diabetes was carried out in 29 studies for H1N1 (n=92,948) and 9 for MERS-CoV (n=308). Average age of H1N1 patients (36.2±6.0 years) was significantly younger than that of subjects with MERS-CoV (54.3±7.4 years, P<0.05). Compared to MERS-CoV patients, subjects with H1N1 exhibited 3-fold lower frequency of cardiovascular diseases and 2- and 4-fold higher prevalence of obesity and immunosuppression, respectively. The overall prevalence of diabetes in H1N1 was 14.6% (95% CI: 12.3- 17.0%; P<0.001), a 3.6-fold lower than in MERS-CoV (54.4%; 95% CI: 29.4-79.5; P<0.001). The prevalence of diabetes among H1N1 cases from Asia and North America was ~two-fold higher than those from South America and Europe. The prevalence of diabetes in MERS-CoV cases is higher than in H1N1. Regional comparisons suggest that an etiologic role of diabetes in MERS-CoV may exist distinctive from that in H1N1.
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