No previous study was done to estimate the prevalence of diabetic neuropathy (DN) in Arabic countries. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of DN and its characteristics in Qena governorate.


This is a random sampling of 10 study areas, involving 9,303 inhabitants; 51.1% men and 48.9% women were recruited. There were 57.3% urban residents and 42.7% rural residents. Patients were diagnosed using a screening questionnaire for diabetes mellitus (DM) as well as for DN in addition to measuring blood sugar in suspected cases. All positive cases were referred to Qena University Hospital and were subjected to full clinical, electrophysiological and laboratory investigations.


Out of 9,303 people screened, 837 were diabetic giving prevalence 8.99% of the population. Eight hundred eleven had type II DM and 26 cases had type I giving prevalence of 8.7 and 0.3%, respectively. One hundred fifty-five out of 837 (18.5%) diabetic patients had evidence of DN with prevalence rate being 1.7% of the total population. Diabetic polyneuropathy was the commonest type with prevalence 1.5%. The prevalence of DN was higher in women than in men. Rural residents had significantly higher prevalence of DN compared to urban residents (1.9 vs. 1.4) and illiterate population more than educated (5.8 vs. 1.2).


The overall crude prevalence rate of DM and DN is nearly the same as in European countries and lower than that in other Arabic countries.