CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Avicenna J Med 2016; 06(03): 81-85
DOI: 10.4103/2231-0770.184067

Assessment of the cardiac autonomic neuropathy among the known diabetics and age-matched controls using noninvasive cardiovascular reflex tests in a South-Indian population: A case-control study

Pradeep Sukla
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Nambaru Lakshmana Rao
Department of Biostatistics and Health, Aditya Institute of Technology and Management, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, India
› Author Affiliations
Financial support and sponsorship Nil.


Aim: Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition characterized by hyperglycemia. The objective of the study was to estimate the prevalence of cardiac autonomic neuropathy in a rural area of South India, among the known diabetics after comparing them with the age-matched healthy controls, utilizing noninvasive cardiac autonomic neuropathy reflex tests. Materials and Methods: A case-control study was conducted for 4 months (October 2014 to January 2015) at an Urban Health and Training Center (UHTC) of a Medical College located in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu. The study was conducted among 126 diagnosed Type 2 diabetes patients and in 152 age- and sex-matched healthy controls to ensure comparability between the cases and controls and, thus, reduce variability due to demographic variables. All the study subjects (cases and controls) were selected from the patients attending UHTC during the study duration, provided they satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Study participants were subjected to undergo noninvasive cardiac autonomic neuropathy reflex tests. The associations were tested using paired t-test for the continuous (mean ± standard deviation) variables. Results: The overall prevalence of cardiac autonomic neuropathy among diabetic patients was found to be as 53.2% (67/126). On further classification, positive (abnormal) results were obtained in 56 (sympathetic - 44.4%) and 51 (parasympathetic - 40.5%) diabetic cases. Overall, heart rate variation during deep breathing was found to be the most sensitive test to detect parasympathetic autonomic neuropathy while the diastolic blood pressure response to sustained handgrip exercise was the most sensitive method to detect sympathetic neuropathy dysfunction. Conclusion: The overall prevalence of cardiac autonomic neuropathy among diabetic patients was found to be as 53.2%. Even though cardiac autonomic neuropathy can be detected by various invasive tests, noninvasive tests remain a key tool to detect it in the remote settings in a cost-effective and user-friendly manner without making people visit higher centers.

Publication History

Article published online:
09 August 2021

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