OBJECTIVE: Symptoms indicative of diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) early in type 2 diabetes may act as a marker for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We linked data from two Danish type 2 diabetes cohorts, the Anglo-Danish-Dutch Study of Intensive Treatment in People With Screen-Detected Diabetes in Primary Care (ADDITION-Denmark) and the Danish Centre for Strategic Research in Type 2 Diabetes (DD2), to national health care registers. The Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument questionnaire (MNSIq) was completed at diabetes diagnosis in ADDITION-Denmark and at a median of 4.6 years after diagnosis of diabetes in DD2. An MNSIq score ≥4 was considered as indicative of DPN. Using Poisson regressions, we computed incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of CVD and all-cause mortality comparing MNSIq scores ≥4 with scores <4. Analyses were adjusted for a range of established CVD risk factors.
RESULTS: In total, 1,445 (ADDITION-Denmark) and 5,028 (DD2) individuals were included in the study. Compared with MNSIq scores <4, MNSIq scores ≥4 were associated with higher incidence rate of CVD, with IRRs of 1.79 (95% CI 1.38-2.31) in ADDITION-Denmark, 1.57 (CI 1.27-1.94) in the DD2, and a combined IRR of 1.65 (CI 1.41-1.95) in a fixed-effect meta-analysis. MNSIq scores ≥4 did not associate with mortality; combined mortality rate ratio was 1.11 (CI 0.83-1.48).
CONCLUSIONS: The MNSIq may be a tool to identify a subgroup within individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes with a high incidence rate of subsequent CVD. MNSIq scores ≥4, indicating DPN, were associated with a markedly higher incidence rate of CVD, beyond that conferred by established CVD risk factors.