July 6, 2020

Waist Size is Significantly Associated with Neuropathy

A new study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings by Drs. Brian Callaghan, Eva Feldman and Evan Reynolds shows that central obesity - waist circumference around the abdomen - is associated with neuropathy.

Scientists from the Michigan Medicine NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies took measurements of nearly 200 patients and found that central obesity, defined as waist circumference around the abdomen, had the highest association with neuropathy, or nerve damage.

While multiple studies show that diabetes and obesity are the most consistent metabolic factors associated with neuropathy, this work indicated the importance of where fat was stored in the body. Additionally, this study identified high blood pressure and high fat levels in the blood as risk factors for neuropathy.

Dr. Brian Callaghan, the Fovette E. Dush Associate Professor of Neurology, was the study’s lead author. He explains the findings, their implications for patient care and future research in this video from Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Dr. Brian Callaghan


portrait of Dr. Eva Feldman

Eva Feldman, MD, PhD

James W. Albers Distinguished University Professor of Neurology
Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology
Director, NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies
Director, ALS Center of Excellence