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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Jun;16(5):751-8.

Higher frequency of paronychia (nail bed infections) in pediatric and adolescent patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus than in non-diabetic peers.

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Children's Hospital, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.



Paronychia occurs frequently in adolescents, but there are no data about its prevalence in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM1). We investigated the presence and characteristics of nail-bed infections in a group of adolescent patients with DM1 aged 10-20 years.


Ninety-three children and adolescents with DM1 and 100 healthy age-matched controls were studied using a structured questionnaire. Frequency, duration and treatment of paronychia and, in the DM1 group, duration of DM, mean HbA1c, frequency of hypoglycemia, footwear and foot care were evaluated. All patients with DM1 underwent a complete neurological examination including vibration perception, thermal perception, and light touch perception.


Adolescents with DM1, particularly girls, had a higher frequency of paronychia than controls (34.4% vs 23%; p < 0.01). Diabetic patients with paronychia were older than those without and had a longer duration of DM1, while there was no difference in long-term HbA1c between the groups. Vibration perception was impaired in all regions measured, compared to healthy adolescents. Subclinical neuropathy and microalbuminuria was found to be more frequent in patients with paronychia than in those without.


We conclude that foot examination is important and mandatory in adolescents with DM1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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