Mapi Publications

Epidemiology of HIV-related neuropathy: a systematic literature review.


We sought to identify and summarize the incidence and prevalence of neuropathy among HIV patients and subgroups. A systematic search of the literature was performed using MEDLINE and EMBASE. The relevant literature was identified based on predefined criteria. Prevalence data were collected from cross-sectional and cohort studies. Incidence data were collected from cohort and case-control studies. Thirty-seven studies were included of which there were 23 cohort studies, 13 cross-sectional studies, and one case-control study. The prevalence of neuropathy among HIV patients derived from 25 studies varied from 1.2% to 69.4%. Regarding the development of neuropathy among HIV-positive patients, standardized by study duration, the rates per 100 person-years ranged from 0.7 to 39.7. Among older patients there is a greater risk of neuropathy. The same seems to be the case for patients with more severe disease. Currently available studies providing information on the incidence and prevalence of neuropathy among HIV patients suggest a significant burden, but there is a great variation in results across studies. There is no definitive explanation for the variation. However, it underscores the fact that complexity of the disease, along with absence of standardized diagnostic criteria, has considerably influenced the methodologies and outcomes of the studies.

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