We have studied vibration sensitivity impairment in 100 male alcoholic veterans and 52 control subjects who had no etiologic factors for peripheral neuropathy. Vibration sensitivity was quantitated at the hallux with the Vibration Sensitivity Tester. Alcoholic subjects had impairment of vibration sensitivity when compared with control subjects (p < .001). This difference persisted when a covariance analysis was performed which included age (coefficient ± SE: 1.40 ± 0.35 units, p < .001). Asymptomatic subjects also had vibration sensitivity impairment (p < .01). In subjects whose ages were ≥ 45 years, 47% of the alcoholics had poorer vibration sensitivity than did any of the controls. Among the alcoholic subjects there were significant correlations of the vibration perception threshold with both age (r = 0.39, p < .001) and drinking duration (r = 0.35, p < .001). In multiple regression analyses these associations remained significant (p < .05). These data indicate that vibration sensitivity impairment is highly prevalent in alcoholic subjects and that impairment may even occur in those who are asymptomatic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)