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      The impact of neuropathic pain and other comorbidities on the quality of life in patients with diabetes

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          Diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) is one of the most common complications of diabetes and can exist with or without neuropathic pain. We were interested in how neuropathic pain impairs the quality of life in diabetic patients and what is the role of comorbidities in this condition.


          The study included 80 patients with painful DPN (group “P”) and 80 patients with DPN, but without neuropathic pain (group “D”). Visual analogue scale (VAS) and Leeds assessment of neuropathic symptoms and signs (LANSS) pain scale were used for assessment of neuropathic pain, SF-36 standardized questionnaire for assessment of the quality of life and BDI questionnaire for assessment of depression.


          Subjects in group P had statistically significantly lower values compared to group D in all 8 dimensions and both summary values of the SF-36 scale. We ascribe the extremely low results of all parameters of SF-36 scale in group P to painful diabetic polyneuropathy with its complications. The patients in group D showed higher average values in all dimension compared to group P, but also somewhat higher quality of life compared to general population of Croatia in 4 of 8 dimensions, namely vitality (VT), social functioning (SF), role-emotional (RE) and mental health (MH), which was unexpected result.

          Clinically, the most pronounced differences between two groups were noted in sleeping disorders and problems regarding micturition and defecation , which were significantly more expressed in group P. The similar situation was with walking distance and color-doppler sonography of carotid arteries, which were significantly worse in group P. Consequently, subjects in group P were more medicated than the patients in group D, particularly with tramadol, antiepileptics and antidepressants.


          Painful DPN is a major factor that influences various aspects of quality of life in diabetic patients. Additionally, this study gives an overview of diabetic population in the Republic of Croatia, information that could prove useful in future studies.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Global burden of diabetes, 1995-2025: prevalence, numerical estimates, and projections.

          To estimate the prevalence of diabetes and the number of people with diabetes who are > or =20 years of age in all countries of the world for three points in time, i.e., the years 1995, 2000, and 2025, and to calculate additional parameters, such as sex ratio, urban-rural ratio, and the age structure of the diabetic population. Age-specific diabetes prevalence estimates were applied to United Nations population estimates and projections for the number of adults aged > or =20 years in all countries of the world. For developing countries, urban and rural populations were considered separately Prevalence of diabetes in adults worldwide was estimated to be 4.0% in 1995 and to rise to 5.4% by the year 2025. It is higher in developed than in developing countries. The number of adults with diabetes in the world will rise from 135 million in 1995 to 300 million in the year 2025. The major part of this numerical increase will occur in developing countries. There will be a 42% increase, from 51 to 72 million, in the developed countries and a 170% increase, from 84 to 228 million, in the developing countries. Thus, by the year 2025, >75% of people with diabetes will reside in developing countries, as compared with 62% in 1995. The countries with the largest number of people with diabetes are, and will be in the year 2025, India, China, and the U.S. In developing countries, the majority of people with diabetes are in the age range of 45-64 years. In the developed countries, the majority of people with diabetes are aged > or =65 years. This pattern will be accentuated by the year 2025. There are more women than men with diabetes, especially in developed countries. In the future, diabetes will be increasingly concentrated in urban areas. This report supports earlier predictions of the epidemic nature of diabetes in the world during the first quarter of the 21st century. It also provides a provisional picture of the characteristics of the epidemic. Worldwide surveillance of diabetes is a necessary first step toward its prevention and control, which is now recognized as an urgent priority.
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            The prevalence of comorbid depression in adults with diabetes: a meta-analysis.

            To estimate the odds and prevalence of clinically relevant depression in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Depression is associated with hyperglycemia and an increased risk for diabetic complications; relief of depression is associated with improved glycemic control. A more accurate estimate of depression prevalence than what is currently available is needed to gauge the potential impact of depression management in diabetes. MEDLINE and PsycINFO databases and published references were used to identify studies that reported the prevalence of depression in diabetes. Prevalence was calculated as an aggregate mean weighted by the combined number of subjects in the included studies. We used chi(2) statistics and odds ratios (ORs) to assess the rate and likelihood of depression as a function of type of diabetes, sex, subject source, depression assessment method, and study design. A total of 42 eligible studies were identified; 20 (48%) included a nondiabetic comparison group. In the controlled studies, the odds of depression in the diabetic group were twice that of the nondiabetic comparison group (OR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.8-2.2) and did not differ by sex, type of diabetes, subject source, or assessment method. The prevalence of comorbid depression was significantly higher in diabetic women (28%) than in diabetic men (18%), in uncontrolled (30%) than in controlled studies (21%), in clinical (32%) than in community (20%) samples, and when assessed by self-report questionnaires (31%) than by standardized diagnostic interviews (11%). The presence of diabetes doubles the odds of comorbid depression. Prevalence estimates are affected by several clinical and methodological variables that do not affect the stability of the ORs.
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              Diabetes-related microvascular and macrovascular diseases in the physical therapy setting.

               W Cade (2008)
              Physical therapists commonly treat people with diabetes for a wide variety of diabetes-associated impairments, including those from diabetes-related vascular disease. Diabetes is associated with both microvascular and macrovascular diseases affecting several organs, including muscle, skin, heart, brain, and kidneys. A common etiology links the different types of diabetes-associated vascular disease. Common risk factors for vascular disease in people with diabetes, specifically type 2 diabetes, include hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, tobacco use, and obesity. Mechanisms for vascular disease in diabetes include the pathologic effects of advanced glycation end product accumulation, impaired vasodilatory response attributable to nitric oxide inhibition, smooth muscle cell dysfunction, overproduction of endothelial growth factors, chronic inflammation, hemodynamic dysregulation, impaired fibrinolytic ability, and enhanced platelet aggregation. It is becoming increasingly important for physical therapists to be aware of diabetes-related vascular complications as more patients present with insulin resistance and diabetes. The opportunities for effective physical therapy interventions (such as exercise) are significant.

                Author and article information

                Health Qual Life Outcomes
                Health Qual Life Outcomes
                Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
                BioMed Central (London )
                3 December 2014
                3 December 2014
                : 12
                : 1
                [ ]Department of Diabetic Complication, Clinical Hospital Merkur, University Clinic Vuk Vrhovac, Dugi dol 4a, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
                [ ]Croatian Institute for Brain Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Salata 12, Zagreb, Croatia
                [ ]Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Hospital Merkur, Zajčeva 19, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
                [ ]Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University hospital Center Zagreb, Kišpatićeva 12, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
                [ ]Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Salata 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
                [ ]University Department of Neurology, University hospital Center “ Sestre milosrdnice“, Vinogradska 29, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
                © Dermanovic Dobrota et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                Health & Social care

                comorbidities, quality of life, diabetic polyneuropathy, diabetes


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