Aims: To assess the prevalence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) and its risk factors in the type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) population.

Methods: This cross-sectional study enrolled patients with T2DM between July and December 2017 from 24 provinces in China. DPN and its severity were assessed by the Toronto clinical scoring system, neuropathy symptoms score and neuropathy disability score. The prevalence of DPN and its risk factors were analyzed.

Results: A total of 14,908 patients with T2DM were enrolled. The prevalence of DPN was 67.6%. Among 10,084 patients with DPN, 4808 (47.7%), 3325 (33.0%), and 1951 (19.3%) had mild, moderate, and severe DPN, respectively. The prevalence of DPN was over 70% in patients aged ≥60 years, with low income (<5000 RMB) and education level of primary school or below. The comorbidities and complications in patients with DPN were higher than in those without DPN (P<0.001). Age, hypertension, duration of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, glycated hemoglobin, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and lower estimated glomerular filtration rate were positively associated with DPN, while BMI, education level, fasting C-peptide, and uric acid were negatively associated with DPN.

Conclusions: Among patients with T2DM in China, the prevalence of DPN is high, especially in the elderly, low-income, and undereducated patients.


W. Wang: None. Q. Ji: None. X. Ran: None. C. Li: None. Y. Xue: None. B. Feng: None. D. Zhu: None.


Chinese Diabetes Society (2019YJ017)

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at