A Canadian study shows that prediabetes carries a similar risk of peripheral neuropathy as new-onset type 2 diabetes in people of around 50 years of age.
The researchers reviewed 467 individuals from the Prospective Metabolism and Islet Cell Evaluation (PROMISE) trial. Participants were aged between 40 and 60 years old and did not have diabetes at the start of the study. The participants, which were recruited from Toronto and London, in Ontario, Canada, were chosen as patients having at least one or more risk factors of developing type 2 diabetes. They were monitored over a 3 year period.
The results of the study showed that out of the patients that had developed type 2 diabetes over the course of the 3 year monitoring period, 50% of those participants had peripheral neuropathy. Of those that developed prediabetes (either impaired fasting glycemia or impaired glucose tolerance), 49% also had peripheral neuropathy. By comparison, of those participants that maintained healthy blood glucose levels, 29% had peripheral neuropathy.
The results outline that people with prediabetes are at a higher risk of neuropathy than the general population and that monitoring for signs of nerve damage should be carried out to reduce the risks of foot damage and the potential consequences that can result.
The study also adds to previous research that suggests that neuropathy represents a possible symptom of prediabetes. As the symptoms of prediabetes are less pronounced than the signs of type 2 diabetes and are often hard to spot, recognising neuropathy can help with diagnosing prediabetes before it develops into type 2 diabetes.

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