Objective: To determine the rate of distal symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSP) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, to evaluate the role of history, neurological examination and the electrodiagnostic methods in the diagnosis of DSP, and to determine the association between electromyography-supported neuropathy (ESN), neuropathic complaints (NCs) and risk factors. Subjects and Methods: A total of 191 type 2 DM patients (109 female, 82 male; mean age 58.7 +/- 10 years) were recruited. The NCs were recorded. All patients had electromyographic (EMG) examinations. The relationship between ESN, NCs and risk factors were evaluated. Results: Of the 191 patients, 83 (43.5%) had DSP on EMG examinations and 92 (48.2%) patients suffered from NCs. Among the ESN patients, a significant relationship existed with HbA1(c) level, illness duration, smoking, male gender or insulin usage (p < 0.05) but not with age, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia or hypertriglyceridemia. The frequency of NCs was higher in patients with ESN. There was also a significant association between NCs and ESN (p < 0.05). The presence of NCs was not related to age, gender, smoking, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia (p > 0.05) but NCs were correlated to HbA1(c) level, illness duration and insulin usage (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Our data show that a strong association exists between the presence of DSP and illness duration, HbA1(c), smoking, thereby indicating that cessation of smoking and near normal glycemic control would be additional precautions to delay the beginning or progression of polyneuropathy. Copyright (C) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.