Diabetic polyneuropathy in the elderly prevalence and risk factors in two geographic areas of Italy

E. Beghi, M. L. Monticelli, L. Amoruso, F. Apollo, M. L. Delodovici, G. Grampa, D. Porazzi, M. Perini, P. Simone, P. Tonali, M. Zarrelli, D. Bombelli, M. G. Bombelli, F. Canistro, M. Capuano, D. Castiglioni, A. Ciani, M. Cursio, M. Danza, V. FerrariS. Galli, T. Gandini, D. Giussani, R. Luoni, A. Melchionda, G. Molenda, E. Motta, M. Passamonti, R. Picotti, R. Pericoli, M. Pigni, D. Ponti, M. Puricelli, A. Sessa, D. Sinapi, G. Taramelli, M. G. Venosta, R. Zuccoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective - To assess the prevalence and the risk factors of diabetic polyneuropathy in representative samples of elderly individuals. Patients - 4191 subjects 55 years and older from two areas of Italy were screened by their general practitioners (GPs) and those positive for neuropathic symptoms were subjected to a standard clinical examination. Methods - The screening questionnaire included a list of clinical conditions possibly causing polyneuropathy, including diabetes. In patients with diabetes, the date of diagnosis, the most recent fasting and post-prandial blood glucose value and glycosylated hemoglobin were sought. Probable polyneuropathy was diagnosed through impairment of 2 or 3 nerve functions (strength, sensation, tendon reflexes) in the extremities with symmetrical and distal distribution. Results - The sample included 347 patients with diabetes (8.3%). Sixty-six of them (19%) had symptoms and signs consistent with probable polyneuropathy (overall prevalence 1.6%). The disease prevailed in women and in subjects aged 75 years and older. Diabetic patients with polyneuropathy had a longer disease course (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Aged
  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Polyneuritis occurrence
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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