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Comparative Study
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The Impact of Neuropathic Pain and Other Comorbidities on the Quality of Life in Patients With Diabetes

Comparative Study

The Impact of Neuropathic Pain and Other Comorbidities on the Quality of Life in Patients With Diabetes

Vesna Dermanovic Dobrota et al. Health Qual Life Outcomes.


Background: Diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) is one of the most common complications of diabetes and can exist with or without neuropathic pain. We were interested in how neuropathic pain impairs the quality of life in diabetic patients and what is the role of comorbidities in this condition.

Methods: The study included 80 patients with painful DPN (group "P") and 80 patients with DPN, but without neuropathic pain (group "D"). Visual analogue scale (VAS) and Leeds assessment of neuropathic symptoms and signs (LANSS) pain scale were used for assessment of neuropathic pain, SF-36 standardized questionnaire for assessment of the quality of life and BDI questionnaire for assessment of depression.

Results: Subjects in group P had statistically significantly lower values compared to group D in all 8 dimensions and both summary values of the SF-36 scale. We ascribe the extremely low results of all parameters of SF-36 scale in group P to painful diabetic polyneuropathy with its complications. The patients in group D showed higher average values in all dimension compared to group P, but also somewhat higher quality of life compared to general population of Croatia in 4 of 8 dimensions, namely vitality (VT), social functioning (SF), role-emotional (RE) and mental health (MH), which was unexpected result. Clinically, the most pronounced differences between two groups were noted in sleeping disorders and problems regarding micturition and defecation , which were significantly more expressed in group P. The similar situation was with walking distance and color-doppler sonography of carotid arteries, which were significantly worse in group P. Consequently, subjects in group P were more medicated than the patients in group D, particularly with tramadol, antiepileptics and antidepressants.

Conclusion: Painful DPN is a major factor that influences various aspects of quality of life in diabetic patients. Additionally, this study gives an overview of diabetic population in the Republic of Croatia, information that could prove useful in future studies.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Mean values of the dimensions of SF-36 scale for the group of diabetic patients with painful neuropathy (black), diabetic patients with painless neuropathy (grey) and random sample of population of Republic of Croatia (white) Physical functioning (PF); Role-physical (RP); Bodily pain (BP); General health (GH); Vitality (VT); Social functioning (SF); Mental Health (MH); Role-emotional (RE).

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