Review Articles

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathies




Limb amputations are among the most dramatic of medicial events from an individual and social perspective. Annually in the United States, there are approximately 85,000 limb amputations caused by a non-traumatic condition. Diabetes and diabetic foot ulcers are responsible for about 87% of these amputations, and the cost of care for this one complication alone exceeds $10 billion per year. Diabetic neuropathy, which is the most common form of neuropathies in the world, is the major cause and contributing factor to the development of foot ulcers and joint deformities (Figure 1), as well as limb threatening ischemia.

With the alarming and increasing rate of obesity and diabetes across all ages, ethnic groups, genders, and educational levels, the global health care cost associated with this disease and its chronic complications is very high and rising. It is estimated that a 15- to 20-pound weight gain increases an individual’s risk of developing diabetes by approximately 120%.

This view is enforced by the increasing recognition that individuals with even mild diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, impaired fasting glucose, and metabolic syndrome may be at a greater risk for developing diabetic complications. The current diagnostic threshold for diabetes, however, may have limited sensitivity for early identification of individuals with the disease and its complications, and future revision in these criteria may be necessary. Accordingly, the prevention, early recognition, and treatment of diabetes and its complications, of which neuropathies are the most frequent, assumes a major role in the management of patients with diabetes.

  • Year: 2010
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 15-19
  • DOI: 10.14797/mdcvj.199
  • Published on 1 Apr 2010
  • Peer Reviewed