Objective: To estimate the point prevalence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) and pain associated with DPN (pDPN) in French adults with diabetes and compare severity of symptoms across demographic subpopulations.
Design: The participant-administered portion of the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI) and selected items of the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) formed part of a computer-aided telephone survey posed to a representative, random sample of French households from March 1, 2005 to April 30, 2005. Questions from the MNSI and the BPI were used to assess the point prevalence of DPN and pDPN in French adults with self-reported diabetes.
Results: The mean age of the study sample was 68 years (SD = 15), the mean duration of diabetes was 15 years (SD = 12) and 56% of participants were female. The prevalence rates of DPN and pDPN in French adults with diabetes were 11 and 8%, respectively. The average age and diabetes duration of participants with DPN and pDPN were not different from participants in the total sample. Among those participants with pDPN, 35% classified their pain as severe, 49% as moderate, and 17% as mild. The prevalence of DPN was higher in participants with type 1 diabetes (14%) than those with type 2 (9%). Among participants with DPN, 88% with severe pain received pain treatment compared to 71% with moderate pain and 58% with mild pain. The most significant limitation of this study is the lack of validation for administering only a portion of the MNSI, but other limitations include the imprecision associated with self-reported questionnaires, a survey sample that does not include participants with undiagnosed diabetes, and a bias toward elderly participants.
Conclusion: This study concluded that 8% of participants with diabetes in France had pDPN.