Chronic Idiopathic Axonal Polyneuropathy Is Associated With the Metabolic Syndrome

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This study aims to investigate the association between chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy (CIAP) and the metabolic syndrome or its individual components.


A total of 249 patients with CIAP and 709 controls underwent fasting laboratory studies, and blood pressure and waist circumference were measured. The metabolic syndrome was diagnosed if three or more of the following Adult Treatment Panel III criteria were present: impaired fasting glucose, hypertension, abdominal obesity, reduced HDL cholesterol, and hypertriglyceridemia. Subgroup analysis was performed for patients with a painful predominantly sensory CIAP, because this phenotype is most similar to diabetic polyneuropathy. Statistical analysis was performed with adjustment for age and gender.


Fifty-five percent of all patients fulfilled the metabolic syndrome criteria compared with 34% of controls (odds ratio 2.2 [95% CI 1.7–3.0]). Multivariate analysis shows hypertension (2.9 [1.7–4.9]) and abdominal obesity (3.3 [2.4–4.6]) to be significantly more prevalent in patients than in controls. Of the patients classified as having a painful predominantly sensory CIAP, 62% fulfilled the metabolic syndrome criteria (3.1 [2.0–4.8]). In this subgroup, hypertension and abdominal obesity also were significantly more prevalent compared with controls.


Abdominal obesity and hypertension seem to be the most consistent contributing components of the metabolic syndrome in patients with CIAP. Evaluation and appropriate treatment of these risk factors in patients with CIAP would be advocated.

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