A group of investigators from the UK recently performed an extensive review of the scientific literature in an attempt to better determine the prevalence of peripheral neuropathy in patients with prediabetes. Twenty-nine studies (9351 participants) were analyzed. Their findings were published on May 18, 2021 in the BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.
According to the CDC, approximately 88 million American adults-more than 1 in 3-have prediabetes. This new research would suggest that there are ≥8.8 million Americans with peripheral neuropathy secondary to prediabetes-making it one of leading causes of peripheral neuropathy in the US.
The mechanism of peripheral neuropathy in prediabetics is likely the same as in diabetics-in that they are both caused by glucose dysmetabolism-with the former being a prodrome of the latter.
Treatment considerations, as with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, should include early adoption of life style changes including diet and exercise modification, vitamin supplementation, medications, physical therapy, and other appropriate therapies.