Hand syndromes associated with diabetes: Impairments and obesity predict disability

Christine L. Redmond, Gregory I. Bain, Laura L. Laslett, Julian D. McNeil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. We determined patterns of disability in diabetic hand conditions and identified factors that contributed to functional limitations. Methods. Hand assessments were performed on 60 adults with DM1 or DM2 and carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, Dupuytren's disease, or the syndrome of limited joint mobility. The examination included measurement of grip strength, light touch perception, and dexterity, as well as self-reported function using the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) instrument and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 questionnaire. Associations with hand disability were analyzed using correlation and regression. Results. The most frequent presentation was carpal tunnel syndrome (45%) but it was common for patients to present with clinical features associated with more than one hand syndrome (47%). Overall, women had greater difficulties, with significantly higher DASH scores than men [mean 30.3 (95% CI 23.2, 37.5) vs 18.0 (95% CI 12.1, 23.9), respectively; p = 0.01]. Grip strength, dexterity, and obesity were associated with hand disability (p < 0.05). Conclusion. In adults with hand syndromes associated with diabetes, disability was related to impaired muscle function and carpal tunnel syndrome. Obesity and overall physical functioning influenced hand disability, particularly in women. The Journal of Rheumatology

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2766-2771
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Dexterity
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Disability
  • Grip strength
  • Hand
  • Monofilament


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