Falls and fractures associated with type 2 diabetic polyneuropathy; a cross-sectional nationwide questionnaire study

Karolina Snopek Khan, Diana Hedevang Christensen, Sia Kromann Nicolaisen, Sandra Sif Gylfadottir, Troels Staehelin Jensen, Jens Steen Nielsen, Reimar Wernich Thomsen, Henning Andersen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Aims/Introduction: To examine the prevalence of falls and fractures, and the association with symptoms of diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) in patients with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Materials and Methods: A detailed questionnaire on neuropathy symptoms and falls was sent to 6,726 patients enrolled in the Danish Center for Strategic Research in Type 2 Diabetes cohort (median age 65 years, diabetes duration 4.6 years). Complete data on fractures and patient characteristics were ascertained from population-based health registries. We defined possible DPN as a score ≥4 on the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instruments questionnaire. Using Poisson regression analyses, we estimated the adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) of falls and fractures, comparing patients with and without DPN. Results: In total, 5,359 patients (80%) answered the questions on the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instruments questionnaire and falls. Within the year preceding the questionnaire response, 17% (n = 933) reported at least one fall and 1.4% (n = 76) suffered from a fracture. The prevalence ratio of falls was substantially increased in patients with possible DPN compared with those without (aPR 2.33, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.06–2.63). The prevalence ratio increased with the number of falls from aPR 1.51 (95% CI 1.22–1.89) for one fall to aPR 5.89 (95% CI 3.84–9.05) for four or more falls within the preceding year. Possible DPN was associated with a slightly although non-significantly increased risk of fractures (aPR 1.32, 95% CI 0.75–2.33). Conclusions: Patients with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes and symptoms of DPN had a highly increased risk of falling. These results emphasize the need for preventive interventions to reduce fall risk among patients with type 2 diabetes and possible DPN.

TidsskriftJournal of diabetes investigation
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 8. mar. 2021


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