Prevalence of diabetes in Zimbabwe: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Mutsa Mutowo*, Usha Gowda, John Chamunorwa Mangwiro, Paula Lorgelly, Alice Owen, Andre Renzaho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Diabetes appears to be a growing problem in the African region. This study aims to estimate the prevalence of diabetes in Zimbabwe by collating and analyzing previously published data.

Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis of data reporting prevalence of diabetes in Zimbabwe was conducted based on the random effects model. We searched for studies published between January 1960 and December 2013 using MEDLINE, EMBASE and Scopus and University of Zimbabwe electronic publication libraries. In the meta-analysis, sub-groups were created for studies conducted before 1980 and after 1980, to understand the potential effect of independence on prevalence.

Results: Seven studies were included in the meta-analysis with a total of 29,514 study participants. The overall pooled prevalence of diabetes before 1980 was 0.44 % (95 % CI 0.0–1.9 %), after 1980 the pooled prevalence was 5.7 % (95 % CI 3.3–8.6 %).

Conclusions: This study showed that the prevalence of diabetes in Zimbabwe has increased significantly over the past three decades. This poses serious challenges to the provision of care and prevention of disabling co-morbidities in an already disadvantaged healthcare setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Meta analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Systematic review
  • Zimbabwe


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