STEVEN H. HOROWITZ, M.D.
To the editor: Graf and associates (1) conclude from measurements of nerve conduction velocities that diabetic control improves nerve function and thereby support the hypothesis that diabetic neuropathy has a metabolic component. Although these conclusions may be correct, they are based on inadequate and misleading data and represent a gross misuse of statistics.
Of five motor and sensory velocities studied, one (median motor) showed statistical improvement, 3.7 m/s (8% of the pretreatment value), after 12 months of therapy. Practically, repeated differences of less than 5.0 m/s on the same nerve are considered to be within the test's range of variability.
HOROWITZ SH. Diabetes Control and Neuropathy. Ann Intern Med. ;95:654–655. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-95-5-654
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1981;95(5):654-655.
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