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Peripheral Neuropathy among Elderly Diabetes in a Tertiary Center, Malaysia

Introduction: The presence of peripheral neuropathy in elderly diabetic patients has a great impact on the health status as it can result in a lot of complications such as fall.

Aims and Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of peripheral neuropathy and its associated factors among elderly diabetes type 2 patients attending Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia

Methods/study design: We conducted a cross sectional study among 288 elderly diabetes type 2. The data collected includes data on socio-demographic, diabetes history, co-morbid diseases, drugs use and occurrence of falls for the past year. Assessment of impaired foot sensation was documented objectively using a 5.07 Semmes Weinstein Monofilament (SWM). Review of patients hospital records for medications usage, laboratory investigations results and medical illnesses were done. Patients also had visual assessment by the ophthalmologist.

Findings: The mean age of the study participant was 66.9 (5.81). The prevalence of peripheral neuropathy in this study was 51.0 %. Univariate analysis showed that age (p<0.05), insulin used (p<0.05), duration of diabetes (p<0.01), having retinopathy (p<0.01), poly pharmacy (p<0.01) and serum creatinine (p<0.05) level were associated with peripheral neuropathy. The prevalence of falls among elderly diabetes was 18.8 %. Falls was significantly associated with peripheral neuropathy (p<0.001, 95% CI 1.59 – 5.81).

Conclusion: The prevalence of peripheral neuropathy among the diabetic elderly was high and significantly associated with falls. Falls screening should be advocated in diabetic clinic especially among the elderly.

Author(s): Azidah A.K., Hasniza H., Lili Husniati Y

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