In a nutshell
This study examined the risk factors associated with peripheral neuropathy among young people with diabetes. The authors concluded that there is a high rate of neuropathy among young patients, and it is associated with cardiovascular risk factors. They suggested that certain lifestyle changes may reduce the risk.
Patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) experience a tingling sensation along their limbs. This is due to nerve damage caused by high blood glucose levels. DPN is common among both patients with type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The prevalence of diabetes is increasing in children and adolescents. It is unclear, however, whether there is a high incidence of DPN in younger patients, and whether there are risk factors that can be identified.
Methods & findings
The study assessed the prevalence of, and risk factors associated with, the development of DPN among 1,734 T1D and 258 T2D patients (average age 18–22 years). Average HbA1c (average blood glucose over 3 months) was 9.1% in the T1D patients and 9.4% in T2D patients. Duration of diabetes varied from 7.2 to 7.9 years.
7% of the T1D patients and 22% of the T2D patients had DPN. For both types of diabetes, the risk of developing DPN was associated with older age, longer diabetes duration, smoking and lower HDL (or "good") cholesterol levels.
Those with T1D were also at risk of developing DPN if they had increased diastolic blood pressure (blood pressure when the heart is not contracting), were obese or had increased blood levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol or of triglycerides (fats circulating in the blood). Male T2D patients were more likely to develop DPN than female T2D patients.
T1D patients who had developed DPN showed a poorer ability to control their blood sugar over time.
The bottom line
This study concluded that there were a number of risk factors associated with DPN. The authors suggested that lifestyle changes may prevent or delay DPN.
The fine print
This study noted poor blood sugar control only among T1D patients with DPN; similar results might have been observed among T2D patients had there been a larger number of patients examined.
Discuss any risk factors for DPN with your doctor.
Published By :
Jul 03, 2017
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