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Niger Postgrad Med J. 2019 Apr-Jun;26(2):123-128. doi: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_30_19.

Distal symmetrical polyneuropathy and cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy among diabetic patients in Ilorin: Prevalence and predictors.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria.



Peripheral neuropathy contributes to morbidity and mortality among diabetic patients.


We aimed to determine the prevalence of distal symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSP) and cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN) and their predictors among diabetic patients in Ilorin, North-central Nigeria.

Materials and Methods:

: This was a cross-sectional study in which 175 consenting diabetic patients were recruited consecutively. We assessed DSP using the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI), and it was defined by MNSI symptom score ≥7 or physical examination score ≥2. CAN was assessed using five tests of cardiovascular autonomic function, and abnormalities in ≥2 tests defined CAN. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the predictors of DSP and CAN.


The prevalence of DSP and CAN was 41.7% and 26.9%, respectively, while 19.4% had both. Hypertension (odds ratio [OR]: 2.401; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.169-4.930, P = 0.017) and poor glycaemic control (OR: 2.957; 95% CI: 1.488-5.878, P = 0.002) independently predicted DSP. Hypertension (OR: 2.215; 95% CI: 1.023-4.414, P = 0.043) and serum creatinine (OR: 1.035; 95% CI: 1.014-1.056, P ≤ 0.001) were independent predictors of CAN.


DSP and CAN are common among diabetic patients, and thus efforts should be made to prevent their occurrence by intensifying blood pressure and glucose control while regularly monitoring renal function.


Diabetic neuropathy; predictors; prevalence

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