Spinal cord injuries up heart disease risk
Washington: Spinal cord injury patients could be at a higher risk of heart disease, a new research has suggested.
Damage to the autonomic nervous system is a key predictor of cardiovascular risk, said researcher Rianne Ravensbergen.
Heart disease after a SCI is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in this population. It is well known that regular exercise is beneficial for cardiovascular health.
In people with autonomic dysfunction due to SCI, they may remain at high risk of cardiovascular disease, even if they maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly, according to Ravensbergen.
“In this specific group we should also be looking at whether they have autonomic dysfunction, because this causes a higher risk for heart disease,” she said.
The autonomic system controls functions of the body that are automatic, or involuntary – such as activities of the bladder, bowel, gastrointestinal tract, liver, heart, and blood vessels.
After SCI the autonomic nerves in the spinal cord can be damaged, leading to widespread abnormalities in autonomic function, and, of particular relevance to Ravensbergen`s work, abnormal control of the heart and blood vessels.
In her study, Ravensbergen assessed 20 people with spinal cord injury and 14 able-bodied controls to determine their risk for cardiovascular disease, including measurements for glucose tolerance, body mass index (BMI), body fat and abdominal fat. Those with SCI had decreased glucose tolerance and increased total and abdominal fat.
Ravensbergen then divided the SCI group into two subgroups: people with autonomic dysfunction and those without. While both groups had high cholesterol, she was surprised to find that those with autonomic dysfunction had problems with blood sugar. “These people are in a pre-diabetic state, which elevates their risk for heart disease,” she says.
This study indicates that after the recovery period, there is value in screening the autonomic system to evaluate the cardiovascular system of spinal cord patients.
The study was presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2011.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Panel discussion over PM Modi's willingness to engage in direct dialogue with Pak
- PM Modi slams Pakistan govt during his speech in Kozhikode
- DNA: US army's joint exercise with Indian Army and their consolation on Uri attack
- DNA: Analysis of Indus water treaty between India and Pakistan
- Panel discussion over PM Modi's willingness to engage in direct dialogue with Pak - Part II
- SHOCKING VIDEO: This man was trying to take selfie with python - You won't believe what happened next!
- Donald Trump praises Hindu community's contributions to US
- Uri effect? India, Afghanistan bypass Pak to set up exclusive air corridor
- Reliance Jio impact: Vodafone offers 10 GB data at 1 GB rate
- Govt calls meet on Indus Water Treaty; Water Resources Ministry, MEA to brief PM Modi