Balance ability in elderly persons with and without diabetic peripheral neuropathy
Keywords:diabetic peripheral neuropathy, balance, postural control, fall, diabetic complication
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most frequently diagnosed chronic disease in elderly, characterized by elevated blood glucose levels. Chronic hyperglycemia associated with complications such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) and vasculopathy, lead to balance impairment and an increased risk of fall in diabetic patients with complications. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare balance ability between type 2 diabetic older adults with and without peripheral neuropathy and healthy elderly. One hundred five elderly participated, were categorized into three groups: patients with DPN group (n=35), patients without DPN group (n=35) and healthy group (n=35). Balance ability of participants was assessed by Time Up and Go test (TUG) and Berg balance scale (BBS). The results found that patient with DNP group showed a significantly lower BBS score and a significantly longer TUG time as compared with patients without DPN group and normal group (p<0.05). In addition, TUG time in patients without DPN group was significantly longer than those in the healthy group (p<0.05). However, no significant difference in BBS score between patients without DPN group and healthy group was seen. Findings of this study confirm that the patients with DPN had balance ability lower than those in patients without DPN and healthy group. In conclusion, DPN in older age lead to an increased risk of fall. Thus, data of this study can be used to health care planning in diabetic patients with and without peripheral neuropathy. Balance improvement and fall prevention should be emphasized the health promotion and exercise program.
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