The alteration in nerve conduction is considered one of the important complaints of patients who are suffering from diabetes mellitus nowadays. Therefore, we conduct this study which aimed to evaluate the nerve conduction velocity and amplitude in diabetic patients and assess the effects of the patients’ age, severity and duration of diabetes on nerve conduction impairment. A case control study, the studied sample were 200 persons, 150 diabetic patients (93 males and 57 females) and the control group consisted of 50 participants (32 males and 38 females). All the patients attended the neurophysiology outpatient department of Al-Sader Teaching Hospital in Basrah city. The diabetic participants were selected at random from age, diabetes duration, and sex. Regarding the ages and exclusion criteria of the controls were ranged same as the diabetic. All participants were interviewed and a questionnaire form was filled prior to examination. Both the diabetic patients and the controls were subjected to the same electrophysiological and laboratory investigations.
The results of the study showed a significant decrease in nerve conduction velocity and amplitude in diabetic patients comparing to controls in all the examined nerves. Furthermore, there was a significant association between advancing age and longer-duration of diabetes with the reduction of conduction velocity and amplitude. Also, a significant inverse correlation between increased severity of diabetes disease (HbA1c level) and decreasing of both conduction velocity and amplitude. However, the study demonstrated no statistical significant difference between patients and controls regarding the gender. In conclusion, the age of the patients, duration of the disease and the severity of diabetes (hyperglycemia control) are playing a crucial role as risk factors in developing of peripheral neuropathy in diabetic patients.