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Diabetic polyneuropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes

New PhD thesis from DCE investigates the occurrence of and risk factors associated with diabetic polyneuropathy and neuropathic pain in patients with type 2 diabetes

In Denmark, the prevalence of a questionnaire-based diagnosis of diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) and painful DPN is 18% and 10%, respectively, among patients with a recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. DPN is associated with being female, young, having a high BMI, smoking, and a long duration of diabetes, while only smoking is clearly associated with painful DPN.

That is one of the results reported in a PhD thesis by Diana Hedevang Christensen, who defended her thesis today. The results are based on a questionnaire survey conducted in the DD2 cohort covering 6,726 patients with type 2 diabetes. Adding information from other data sources, Diana and colleagues also found that DPN is related to modifiable risk factors like central and general obesity, low grade inflammation, glycemic control, insulin resistance, hypertriglyceridemia and low levels of HDL cholesterol, use of antihypertensive drugs, and unhealthy lifestyle including being physically inactive.

Diana also investigated the potential of using registry data for further research on DPN risk and prognosis. She found a positive predictive value of 74-78% for hospital-diagnosed DPN, which suggests that it is possible to conduct future epidemiological studies be based on registry data.