Narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by loss of hypocretin neurons, has been associated with metabolic disturbances. Although the metabolic alterations in narcolepsy patients are widely investigated in the literature, the results are controversial. We performed a systematic search of literature to identify metabolic profiling studies in narcolepsy patients. A total of 48 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Narcolepsy patients exhibited higher prevalence of obesity (log OR = 0.93 [0.73-1.13], P < 0.001), diabetes mellitus (log OR = 0.64 [0.34, 0.94], P < 0.001), hypertension (log OR = 0.33 [0.11, 0.55], P < 0.001), and dyslipidemia (log OR = 1.19 [0.60, 1.77], P < 0.001) compared with non-narcoleptic controls. Narcolepsy was associated with higher BMI (SMD = 0.50 [0.32-0.68], P < 0.001), waist circumference (MD = 8.61 [2.03-15.19], P = 0.01), and plasma insulin (SMD = 0.61 [0.14-1.09], P = 0.01). Levels of fasting blood glucose (SMD = -0.25 [-0.61,0.10], P = 0.15), BMR-RMR (SMD = -0.17 [-0.52-0.18], P = 0.34), systolic blood pressure (SMD = 0.29 [-0.39-0.97], P = 0.40), diastolic blood pressure (SMD = 0.39 [-0.62, 1.40], P = 0.45), CSF melanin-concentrating hormone (MD = 5.56 [-30.79-41.91], P = 0.76), serum growth hormone (SMD = 7.84 [-7.90-23.57], P = 0.33), as well as plasma and CSF leptin (SMD = 0.10 [-1.32-1.51], P = 0.89 and MD = 0.01 [-0.02-0.04], P = 0.56, respectively) did not significantly differ between narcolepsy patients and controls. These findings necessitate early screening of metabolic alterations and cardiovascular risk factors in narcolepsy patients to reduce the morbidity and mortality rates.
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