Awareness of sensory decline in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus
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The goal of this paper is to assess the awareness of sensory impairment and balance decline in middle-aged patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, receiving primary health care. Ninety-nine patients aged ≤65 years participated in the study. They were evaluated by clinical interview, a questionnaire of balance and specialized audiology, ophthalmology, peripheral neuropathy, and vestibular assessments. Although 52 patients (52 %, 95 % C.I. 42–62 %) had impairment of at least two senses, they were not aware of their sensory dysfunction or balance decline. Intentional questioning was not enough to detect hearing or visual deterioration but suggested somatosensory or vestibular dysfunction. Even the occurrence of frequent falls was underreported, unless intentionally investigated. The results support that education strategies are needed to increase awareness of sensory and balance decline in both patients and primary care professionals.
KeywordsDiabetes mellitus Sensory decline Hearing loss Vision Polyneuropathy Balance
We thank Niels Watcher Rodarte, Rita Gómez Díaz, and Anabel Meza Urquiza for their contribution to identify candidates to participate in the study. Funding by CONACyT (SALUD-2010-02-151394) and by Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (FIS/IMSS/PROT/1034).
Conflict of interest
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