Evidence suggests that diabetics have a higher incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) than the general population. It’s also common knowledge that diabetics are at greater risk of developing diabetic nephropathy. A higher risk of atrial fibrillation has been suggested in specific reviews and studies of people with diabetic nephropathy, but no definitive proof exists as of yet. To pool data from multiple studies to determine if diabetic nephropathy and AF are linked. Research articles that were published between January 1995 and November 2020 were analyzed. The studies were narrowed down based on their ability to meet certain quality assessment criteria, such as having well-defined comparison groups, measuring the same outcome across groups, accounting for any confounding factors, and following patients for at least 80% of the time. There were 2 separate reviewers who conducted the searches, developed their methodologies, and completed the reviews. Cochrane’s RevMan 5.3 processed the data to provide a summary odds ratio and a forest plot. There were only 4 studies that matched the criteria to be included in this meta-analysis (total number of study participants: 307,330, diabetic nephropathy patients: 22,855). About 2 of these studies were cross-sectional retrospectives, while the other 2 were prospective cohort and case-control studies. Around 3 research (2 retrospective cross-sectional studies and 1 case-control study) reported odds ratios as the effect size, while the 1 cohort study reported hazard ratios. As a result, the cohort study was disregarded throughout the meta-analysis. The present analysis could not find statistical significance for the summary odds ratio of 1.32 (0.80-2.18). The summary estimate skewed toward the null value because of the substantial variability among the included studies and their relatively small sample sizes. Therefore, the current meta-analysis did not link atrial fibrillation and diabetic nephropathy. However, additional large-scale research is needed to bolster the existing data.
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