Polyneuropathy is a prevalent and disabling disorder. Despite extensive evaluation, the cause often remains unknown. Factors that predispose for the development of polyneuropathy need to be identified. We investigated the effect of anthropometric and metabolic factors on peripheral nerve function in 908 participants of the population-based Rotterdam Study without any symptoms or signs of polyneuropathy. Participants underwent nerve conduction studies of the sural and peroneal nerve. Data on age, height, weight, waist circumference, diabetes, lipid levels, hypertension, and kidney function were collected. Regression analyses were used to investigate determinants of nerve action potential amplitudes. The frequency of abnormal sural sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) amplitudes increased with age from 1% under 60 years to 23% over 80 years. Similarly, the frequency of abnormal peroneal nerve compound motor action potential (CMAP) amplitudes increased from 4% to 13%. High weight and body mass index were independently associated with reduced sural SNAP amplitudes and peroneal CMAP amplitudes. Participants with hypertension and kidney dysfunction were more likely to have abnormal sural SNAP amplitudes. Older age, high weight, hypertension, and moderate kidney dysfunction might thus lead to peripheral nerve dysfunction in persons yet without symptoms or signs of polyneuropathy.

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doi.org/10.1111/jns.12211, hdl.handle.net/1765/100349
Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hanewinckel, R., Ikram, A., Franco, O., Hofman, A., Drenthen, J., & van Doorn, P. (2017). High body mass and kidney dysfunction relate to worse nerve function, even in adults without neuropathy. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, 22(2), 112–120. doi:10.1111/jns.12211