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Triglyceride Level Associated with Diabetic Neuropathy

University of Michigan study supports the idea that hyperlipidemia contributes to disease progression

TUESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- The progression of diabetic neuropathy is associated with elevated triglycerides in the blood and with decreased conduction of the peroneal motor nerve, according to a study published online May 1 in Diabetes.

Timothy D. Wiggin, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used data collected in previous trials of the drug acetyl-L-carnitine for diabetic neuropathy to analyze the relationship between progression of diabetic neuropathy and other variables. Using data collected from 427 diabetic neuropathy patients at baseline and 52 weeks, the researchers noted changes in sural nerve myelinated fiber density (MFD), nerve conduction velocity, clinical symptoms, vibration perception, and pain assessed on a visual analogue scale. For those with progressing diabetic neuropathy, the researchers looked for associations between progression and several variables including HbA1c, triglycerides, cholesterol, albumin and hematocrit.

After 52 weeks, the researchers found that the patients whose diabetic neuropathy was progressing exhibited a 25 percent decrease in sural nerve MFD from baseline. Among the variables tested, elevated triglycerides and decreased peroneal motor nerve conduction velocity were associated with the decreased MFD.

"In this cohort of participants with mild/moderate diabetic neuropathy, elevated triglycerides correlated with MFD loss independent of disease duration, age, diabetes control or other variables. These data support the evolving concept that hyperlipidemia is instrumental in the progression of diabetic neuropathy," the authors conclude.

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