Prevalence, severity and factors associated with peripheral neuropathy among newly diagnosed diabetic patients attending Mulago hospital: a cross-sectional study
Aims: To determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) among newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus patients in Mulago Hospital.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 248 newly diagnosed adult diabetic patients. Using the standard Neuropathy Symptom Score (NSS) and Neuropathy Disability Score (NDS) criteria, we screened them for neuropathy. Data on the socio-demographics, age, duration of symptoms and history of diabetic ulcer were analyzed using a multiple logistic regression. A p-value <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: The majority of study patients (62.1%) were male. The overall prevalence of DPN was 29.4 %. Nearly sixteen percent had moderate neuropathy and only five percent had severe neuropathy. Age above 60 years was significantly associated with the presence of DPN; (OR 3.72; 95% CI 1.25 – 11.03; p=0.018). The history of ever having a foot ulcer was significantly associated with peripheral neuropathy (OR 2.59; 95% CI: 1.03 – 6.49, p = 0.042).
Conclusion: DPN occurs in 1 in 4 of newly diagnosed diabetic patients in Mulago hospital. Two thirds of these patients had moderate to severe neuropathy. DPN was independently associated with increasing age. Early diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, increased diabetes knowledge and regular blood sugar screenings would play an important role in identifying this problem.
Keywords: Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, associated factors, newly diagnosed, diabetes mellitus