BACKGROUND: Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) is known to be a good surrogate marker of clinical atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a major predictor for developing neuropathy. The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between baPWV and diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) in patients with type 2 diabetes. METHODS: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted involving 692 patients with type 2 diabetes. The correlation between increased baPWV and DPN, neurological symptoms, and neurological assessment was analyzed. DPN was examined using the total symptom score (TSS), ankle reflexes, the vibration test, and the 10-g monofilament test. DPN was defined as TSS > or =2 and an abnormal neurological assessment. Data were expressed as means+/-standard deviation for normally distributed data and as median (interquartile range) for non-normally distributed data. Independent t-tests or chi-square tests were used to make comparisons between groups, and a multiple logistic regression test was used to evaluate independent predictors of DPN. The Mantel-Haenszel chi-square test was used to adjust for age. RESULTS: Patients with DPN had higher baPWV and systolic blood pressure, and were more likely to be older and female, when compared to the control group. According to univariate analysis of risk factors for DPN, the odds ratio of the baPWV > or =1,600 cm/sec was 1.611 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.072 to 2.422; P=0.021) and the odds ratio in female was 1.816 (95% CI, 1.195 to 2.760; P=0.005). CONCLUSION: Increased baPWV was significantly correlated with peripheral neuropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes.