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High Prevalence and Impact of Undiagnosed Peripheral Neuropathy in Mexico City

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In a comprehensive study conducted in the Mexico City area, researchers aimed to uncover the prevalence of Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) among adults aged 40-65 years. This condition, affecting the peripheral nervous system, often goes unnoticed and untreated, leading to severe quality of life (QoL) deterioration. The findings reveal a significant percentage of the population suffering from PN without even being aware of it, highlighting an urgent need for increased awareness and early diagnosis.

Study Design and Methodology

This cross-sectional study involved 3066 participants recruited from public places in Mexico City. Researchers utilized the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI) to screen for PN. Those diagnosed with PN completed additional assessments, including the Neuropathy Total Symptom Score-6 (NTSS-6), the Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36), and the QoL Pharmacoeconomic Questionnaire, to evaluate the impact on their daily lives and overall health.

Statistical analyses were applied to determine the prevalence of PN, calculating 95% confidence intervals to ensure the reliability of the data. Descriptive methods provided insights into the sociodemographic and disease-related characteristics of the affected individuals.

Key Findings

The study found that out of the 3066 participants, 448 were diagnosed with PN, resulting in an overall prevalence rate of 14.6%. Notably, the highest prevalence of 18.9% was observed in the age group of 61-65 years. Alarmingly, 82.6% of those with PN were previously undiagnosed, and 62.9% had never heard of the condition. Despite the mild nature of symptoms in half of the cases, a staggering 91.8% reported a negative impact on their QoL.

Actionable Insights

To address the widespread issue of undiagnosed PN, the following steps are recommended:

  • Implement widespread screening programs using tools like the MNSI in public health settings.
  • Increase public awareness campaigns to educate about PN symptoms and risks.
  • Incorporate PN screening in routine check-ups for adults, particularly those over 40.
  • Develop targeted interventions for older adults, who show the highest prevalence rates.

Given the significant underdiagnosis and the impact on QoL, it is imperative to enhance awareness and screening efforts to mitigate the long-term complications of PN. By identifying and treating PN early, we can improve the quality of life for many individuals.

Original Article: Curr Med Res Opin. 2024 May 31:1-11. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2024.2352852. Online ahead of print.

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