Diabetic Nerve Pain will Affect Approximately 5 Million Americans in 2021 – Interview

Diabetic Nerve Pain will Affect Approximately 5 Million Americans in 2021 – Interview

Image by Tesa Robbins from Pixabay

More than 34 million Americans – just over 1 in 10 – have diabetes1, and neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy of the feet, or more commonly referred to as diabetic nerve pain, is one of its most common complications.2

The painful symptoms associated with this nerve damage

include numbness, tingling, as well as burning, shooting, or stabbing sensations that most often affect the lower extremities.3

It is a progressive and debilitating complication of diabetes that will affect approximately more than 5 million Americans in 2021 and is expected to double by 2030.4-8

Join me in a recent interview

with Lindsay Colbert, Executive Director of The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, and  Dr. Rodica Pop-Busui, MD, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine, Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes and Vice Chair Clinical Research, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor as they were able to talk about the findings from a new national survey of patients that captured beliefs, perspectives and attitudes towards their diabetic nerve pain.

Also, a key finding from the survey revealed an overwhelming 71% of patients desire change, and are seeking better treatments and a future with less pain. Furthermore, over a third of respondents reported needing to rest more; the most frequently reported necessary life-style change due to their pain.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • Latest data suggests that 11.10% of adults aged 18+ in Michigan had diabetes, compared to the national average of 10.2%.1,9
  • The lack of effective, innovative treatment options have left many patients with a significant unmet medical need
  • Two in five patients had to visit three or more doctors before getting the right diagnosis for their pain
  • 58% of patients are not satisfied with the current treatment plan for their diabetic nerve foot pain

See the entire interview here:

  For more information, go to nervepainandme.com/


Lindsay Colbert, MA, is Executive Director of the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy (FPN), a public charity organization based outside of Chicago, Illinois, that is dedicated to improving the lives of patients living with peripheral neuropathy.

In her tenure with the organization, Colbert has lead FPN to increase awareness of peripheral neuropathy, prioritize research and funding in the field, and provide educational programs to patients throughout the world who are desperate for answers and hope.

Colbert holds a Master of Arts degree in International Development and French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining FPN in 2017, Colbert developed her marketing, fundraising, and nonprofit management skills for over a decade at two Chicago-based institutions, namely Rotary International and Northwestern University.

She resides in a Chicago suburb with her husband and two daughters. In her free time, Colbert enjoys traveling, cycling, gardening, and playing with her children.


Rodica Pop-Busui, MD, PhD, is the Larry D. Soderquist Professor of Diabetes, a prominent diabetologist at Michigan Medicine and a recognized leader in the field of diabetes and diabetes complications. She is the Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Associate Director of Clinical Research, Mentoring and Development of the Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute at the University of Michigan.

Her research interests involve chronic complications of diabetes, particularly diabetic peripheral and cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy, as well as diabetic foot complications, diabetic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, and the design and conduct of traditional and pragmatic clinical trials for patients with diabetes.

Dr. Pop-Busui has published more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, and received awards from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the University of Michigan. She has chaired the most recent American Diabetes Association Position Statement on Diabetic Neuropathy, and has served as Chair of the American Diabetes Association Scientific Research Review Clinical and Chair of the ADA Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease Interest Group. She is also one of the principal investigators in the recently established NIDDK Diabetes Foot Consortium.

She has led neuropathy studies in several of the most important national and international diabetes clinical trials to date including: the NHLBI-funded Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial, the NIDDK funded Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Diabetes 2 (BARI- 2D) and Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications. In addition, she designed and leads several investigator-initiated studies funded by NIDDK and Pharma to unveil disease modifying agents for diabetic neuropathy and other diabetes complications.

Interview is courtesy of Averitas Pharma, Inc.



1.     CDC Division of Diabetes Translation, National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/diabetes-stat-report.html#:~:text=New%20in%202020%2C%20the%20report,1%20in%203%E2%80%94have%20prediabetes. Accessed 2021.

2.     University of Chicago Center for Peripheral Neuropathy. Types of Peripheral Neuropathy. http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu/learnaboutpn/typesofpn/diabetes/diabetes.shtml. Accessed 2021.

3.     American Diabetes Association. Peripheral Neuorapthy Overview. https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/neuropathy/peripheral-neuropathy. Accessed 2021

4.     Gore M. et al. Burden of illness in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: the patients’ perspectives. J. Pain. 2006. 892-900.

5.     Veves A. et al. Painful diabetic neuropathy: epidemiology, natural history, early diagnosis, and treatment options. Pain Medicine. 2008. 660-674.

6.     Gore, M., Brandenburg, N. A., Dukes, E., Hoffman, D. L., Tai, K.-S., & Stacey, B. (2005). Pain Severity in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is Associated with Patient Functioning, Symptom Levels of Anxiety and Depression, and Sleep. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 30(4), 374-385. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2005.04.009.


7.   Iqbal Z. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy: epidemiology, diagnosis, and pharmacotherapy. Clinical Therapeutics. 2018. 828–849.

8.     International Diabetes Federation. IDF diabetes atlas, ninth edition. 2019.

9.     Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Report Card 2019. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2020.

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/library/Diabetes-Report-Card-2019-508.pdf Accessed 2021.


Cynthia Tait

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