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Female sex is a risk factor for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: the EURODIAB prospective diabetes complications study

Elliott, Jackie; Sloan, Gordon; Stevens, Lynda; Selvarajah, Dinesh; Cruccu, Giorgio; Gandhi, Rajiv A; Kempler, Peter; ... Tesfaye, Solomon; + view all (2024) Female sex is a risk factor for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: the EURODIAB prospective diabetes complications study. Diabetologia , 67 (1) pp. 190-198. 10.1007/s00125-023-06025-z. Green open access

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Abstract

Aims/hypothesis: While the risk factors for diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) are now well recognised, the risk factors for painful DPN remain unknown. We performed analysis of the EURODIAB Prospective Complications Study data to elucidate the incidence and risk factors of painful DPN. Methods: The EURODIAB Prospective Complications Study recruited 3250 participants with type 1 diabetes who were followed up for 7.3±0.6 (mean ± SD) years. To evaluate DPN, a standardised protocol was used, including clinical assessment, quantitative sensory testing and autonomic function tests. Painful DPN (defined as painful neuropathic symptoms in the legs in participants with confirmed DPN) was assessed at baseline and follow-up. Results: At baseline, 234 (25.2%) out of 927 participants with DPN had painful DPN. At follow-up, incident DPN developed in 276 (23.5%) of 1172 participants. Of these, 41 (14.9%) had incident painful DPN. Most of the participants who developed incident painful DPN were female (73% vs 48% painless DPN p=0.003) and this remained significant after adjustment for duration of diabetes and HbA1c (OR 2.69 [95% CI 1.41, 6.23], p=0.004). The proportion of participants with macro- or microalbuminuria was lower in those with painful DPN compared with painless DPN (15% vs 34%, p=0.02), and this association remained after adjusting for HbA1c, diabetes duration and sex (p=0.03). Conclusions/interpretation: In this first prospective study to investigate the risk factors for painful DPN, we definitively demonstrate that female sex is a risk factor for painful DPN. Additionally, there is less evidence of diabetic nephropathy in incident painful, compared with painless, DPN. Thus, painful DPN is not driven by cardiometabolic factors traditionally associated with microvascular disease. Sex differences may therefore play an important role in the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain in diabetes. Future studies need to look at psychosocial, genetic and other factors in the development of painful DPN. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Type: Article
Title: Female sex is a risk factor for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: the EURODIAB prospective diabetes complications study
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00125-023-06025-z
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00125-023-06025-z
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, Epidemiology, Neuropathic pain, Painful diabetic neuropathy, Painful neuropathy, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, PREVALENCE, POLYNEUROPATHY, PHENOTYPE, SEVERITY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10187861
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