(HealthDay News) – The prevalence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is 25.7% among youth with type 2 diabetes, and is significantly higher than that seen among youth with type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online Oct. 21 in Diabetes Care.

Mamta Jaiswal, MBBS, PhD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted a pilot study among youth participating in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study to estimate the prevalence of and risk factors for DPN. DPN was assessed using the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI), with a MNSI exam (MNSIE) score of >2 diagnostic for DPN. Three hundred ninety-nine subjects completed the MNSIE, including 329 with type 1 diabetes (mean age, 15.7 years) and 70 with type 2 diabetes (mean age, 21.6 years).

The researchers found that the prevalence of DPN was significantly higher among youth with type 2 vs. type 1 diabetes (25.7 vs. 8.2%). Diabetes type, older age, longer duration of diabetes, increased waist circumference, raised blood pressure, lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and presence of microalbuminuria correlated with DPN in unadjusted analyses. After adjustment for age and sex, the correlation between diabetes type and DPN remained significant (odds ratio, 2.29; P=0.03).

“DPN prevalence among youth with type 2 diabetes approached rates reported in adult populations with diabetes,” the authors write. “Our findings suggest not only that youth with diabetes are at risk for DPN but also that many already show measurable signs of DPN.”

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