A review of the epidemiology of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, and less commonly studied neuropathic pain conditions

Pain Pract. Jan-Feb 2008;8(1):45-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2007.00164.x.


Although the burden of neuropathic pain is well-recognized, the descriptive epidemiology of specific neuropathic pain conditions has not been well-described. While painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia have been widely evaluated, many other peripheral and central neuropathic pain syndromes have been less frequently studied. This review summarizes incidence and/or prevalence information about two relatively frequent neuropathic pain conditions-painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia-and similarly summarizes the more limited epidemiologic information available for other peripheral and central neuropathic pain conditions. The data suggest that while our knowledge is still incomplete, the high frequency of several of these conditions in specific populations should be considered an important impetus for further studies designed to evaluate their contribution to the overall burden of neuropathic pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / epidemiology*
  • Glossopharyngeal Nerve Diseases / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology
  • Neuralgia / epidemiology*
  • Neuralgia / etiology
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / epidemiology*
  • Phantom Limb / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Radiculopathy / epidemiology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / epidemiology
  • Stroke / complications
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / epidemiology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology