Distal Symmetric Polyneuropathy Often Undiagnosed

Older age and metabolic syndrome were associated with DSP, while odds were lower for non-Hispanic Blacks
Distal Symmetric Polyneuropathy Often Undiagnosed
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WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DSP) is common and is frequently undiagnosed, according to a study published online May 8 in Neurology.

Melissa A. Elafros, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined whether data accurately reflect the prevalence, risk factors, and burden of DSP in the population. The cross-sectional study included patients older than 40 years presenting to an outpatient internal medicine clinic mainly serving Medicaid patients. The modified Toronto Clinical Neuropathy Score (mTCNS) was used to define DSP.

The study enrolled 200 patients; 85 percent completed all data collection. The population was mainly female and non-Hispanic Black (55 and 69 percent, respectively). The researchers found that 73 percent of the population had DSP, of which 75 percent were previously undiagnosed. Overall, 57 percent of participants with DSP had neuropathic pain. DSP based on mTCNS criteria was associated with older age and metabolic syndrome (odds ratios, 1.1 and 4.4, respectively). Lower odds of DSP were seen for non-Hispanic Black participants compared with non-Hispanic White and Hispanic participants (odds ratio, 0.1). The burden of DSP was high, with increased pain and health-related worry and lower quality of life.

"The amount of people with neuropathy in this study, particularly undiagnosed neuropathy, was extraordinarily high with almost three fourths of the study population," Elafros said in a statement. "This highlights the urgent need for interventions that improve diagnosis and management of this condition, as well as the need for managing risk factors that can lead to this condition."

One author disclosed ties to DynaMed.

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