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December 7, 1940

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY DUE TO VITAMIN B1 DEFICIENCY IN DIABETES MELLITUS

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Department of Medicine, New York University College of Medicine, the Diabetic Clinic of the Third Medical Division, and the Medical Service of the Psychiatric Division, Bellevue Hospital.

JAMA. 1940;115(23):1973-1976. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810490029006
Abstract

We are reporting nine cases of a symmetrical peripheral neuropathy due to vitamin B1 deficiency found in a group of 422 ambulatory patients with diabetes mellitus. The occurrence of peripheral neuropathy in diabetic patients is well known and has been the subject of several reports since its description by Marchal de Calvi1 in 1864. The incidence of this condition in groups of such patients varies, according to Jordan,2 from 0.6 to 57.3 per cent. The extreme variation thus reported demands explanation and is due, in our opinion, to several factors. There is, first, a tendency on the part of many physicians to label vague pains in the extremities as neuritis without employing objective criteria for the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy. Pain in the extremities of diabetic patients is common; it occurs in 17 per cent of Joslin's3 patients. Such pain, however, is more often due to

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