Author(s): Aaberg ML, Burch DM, Hud ZR, Zacharias MP
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Diabetic neuropathy is one of the more common complications plaguing individuals with type 2 diabetes. The development and progression of such complications are responsible for much of the morbidity and mortality related to this disease. Few studies have evaluated age at onset of diabetic neuropathy between genders. A difference in the progression of diabetic neuropathy between men and women may exist. This investigation evaluated gender differences in the age at onset of neuropathy among patients with type 2 diabetes. METHODS: The study, a retrospective chart analysis, reviewed 376 inpatient and outpatient medical records between January 2004 and January 2006 from a Cleveland, Ohio, hospital. Onset of neuropathy was determined by the date the neuropathy International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code was first included in the medical chart; for this study, onset was equated with the date of first identification. Data were analyzed via a tailed independent t test. RESULTS: Of the 376 inpatient and outpatient charts reviewed, 156 were for male patients and 220 were for female patients (41\% and 59\%, respectively). All patients had type 2 diabetes; however, 23\% (n=86) required insulin therapy at the time of the study. Males developed neuropathic complications at 63 years, approximately 4 years earlier than did females (at 67 years). The t test revealed a statistically significant difference in age at onset of diabetic neuropathy between the male and female subjects. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that the males in the study population developed neuropathy earlier than did the females. It may then be hypothesized that earlier interventions in the male population may improve disease outcomes.
This article was published in J Diabetes Complications
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism