Original research| Volume 16, ISSUE 2, P287-292, April 2022

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Prevalence of peripheral neuropathy and associated risk factors in children with type 1 diabetes

Published:January 05, 2022DOI:


      • 91% of children with TID may have electrophysiological abnormalities.
      • 18% of children with T1D develop subclinical neuropathy.
      • Most common pattern of neuropathy in children is pure motor type.
      • Body mass index is an important predictor of neuropathy in children.
      • Nerve conduction should be performed to look for nerve dysfunction and progression.



      To detect the prevalence of diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) in children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and to identify associated the risk factors.


      This cross-sectional study evaluated children aged between 2 and 16y with T1D for ≥2 y. Detailed neurological examination, neuropathy symptom score, and nerve conduction studies were done in all children to assess nerve dysfunction. Disease-related factors were evaluated for the prediction of neuropathy.


      Sixty-six children (67% boys) were enrolled. The mean age at the time of diagnosis of T1D was 7.1 ± 2.6 years. The mean duration of diabetes was 4 ± 1.8 years. None of the patients had neuropathy on clinical examination or on the neuropathy symptom score. The prevalence of subclinical DPN was 18.2% (n = 12/66). The type of neuropathy was pure motor (n = 11, 91.6%) and mixed sensorimotor (n = 1, 8.3%). The common peroneal nerve was most commonly affected (n = 6, 50%), followed by the tibial (n = 4, 33.3%) nerve. The most common patterns of nerve involvement were mixed axonal and demyelination (n = 7, 58.3%), followed by axonal (n = 3, 25%) and demyelinating type (n = 2, 16.6%). Children with subclinical DPN had a significant reduction in velocity of tibial, common peroneal, median motor, and ulnar motor nerves; delayed latency in common peroneal, median motor, ulnar motor, and median sensory nerves compared to those without DPN (p value <0.05). A higher body mass index predicted the development of subclinical DPN (p value <0.05).


      Nearly one-fifth of children with T1D have subclinical neuropathy as early as two years of the disease. A higher body mass index is significantly associated with DPN. Electrophysiological studies should be performed regularly to screen for nerve dysfunction and its progression.


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