Diet quality and chronic axonal polyneuropathy: a population-based study

Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2019 Dec;6(12):2460-2467. doi: 10.1002/acn3.50939. Epub 2019 Nov 18.


Objective: To investigate the association between diet quality and chronic axonal polyneuropathy.

Methods: Between June 2013 and January 2017, among 1650 participants of the Rotterdam Study (median age 69.1 years, 54.2% women), diet quality was quantified based on food frequency questionnaires as a sum score of adherence (yes/no) to 14 components of the Dutch dietary guidelines. Presence of polyneuropathy was determined based on a questionnaire, neurological examination of the legs, and nerve conduction studies. We used logistic regression to associate diet quality with the presence of chronic axonal polyneuropathy and linear regression to associate with sural sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) amplitude in participants without polyneuropathy. Results were adjusted for age, sex, time between measurements, body mass index, blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, smoking, kidney function, and education.

Results: Overall diet quality was not associated with chronic axonal polyneuropathy (odds ratio [OR] = 0.99, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.88; 1.12, P = 0.842), nor with sural SNAP amplitude in participants without polyneuropathy (difference = 0.01, 95% CI -0.14; 0.15, P = 0.993). Although not surviving multiple testing, a nominally significant association was found between salt intake ≤6 g/day and presence of chronic axonal polyneuropathy (OR = 0.55, 95% CI 0.35; 0.86, P = 0.008).

Interpretation: We did not find an association between diet quality and chronic axonal polyneuropathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Aged
  • Axons / pathology*
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Polyneuropathies / epidemiology*
  • Sural Nerve / physiopathology