Prevalence and related risk-factors of peripheral neuropathy in children with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Nasibeh Hasani, Saeid Khosrawi, Mahin Hashemipour, Mania Haghighatiyan, Zahra Javdan, Mohamad Hadi Taheri, Roya Kelishadi, Masoud Amini, Reihaneh Barakatein


  • Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a common metabolic disorder that can cause various complications including, peripheral neuropathy (PNP). Some possible risk-factors such as blood glucose level, hyperglycemia, duration of diabetes, and lipid profiles are assumed to be important in diabetic PNP incidence. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence and possible risk-factors of PNP in children with insulin dependent DM.
  • Materials and Methods: Among diabetic children, 146 patients (up to 18-years old) were evaluated in this cross-sectional study. All patients were examined for signs and symptoms of neuropathy and nerve conduction studies were performed. Blood level of glucose and lipid profiles were also tested. The relation between variables was compared by independent t-test and logistic regression test.
  • Results: The mean age of diabetic children was 11.9 ± 3.3 years whereas mean diabetes duration was 3.8 ± 2.9 years. PNP was detected in 40 patients (27.4%) that 62.5% of them have subclinical and 37.5% have clinical neuropathy. According to logistic regression analysis, duration of diabetes was the most important factor in prevalence of PNP (5.7 ± 3.5 and 3.1 ± 2.5 years in patients with and without neuropathy respectively, P < 0.001, 95% confidence interval [1.15-1.54]).
  • Conclusion: As most of the patients had subclinical PN, neurological assessment is recommended to detect subclinical neuropathy in asymptomatic type 1 diabetic children and it seems that the best way to prevent this complication is still rigid blood glucose control and periodic evaluations.
  • Key words: Diabetes mellitus, peripheral neuropathy, prevalence, risk factors, type 1

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