Impact of type 2 diabetes on cardiac autonomic responses to sympathetic stimuli in patients with coronary artery disease

Antti M Kiviniemi, Arto J Hautala, Jaana J Karjalainen, Olli-Pekka Piira, Samuli Lepojärvi, Suvi Tiinanen, Tapio Seppänen, Olavi Ukkola, Heikki V Huikuri, Mikko P Tulppo
Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic & Clinical 2013, 179 (1): 142-7
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has shown limited impact on cardiac autonomic function in patients with cardiac disease at rest. The effect of T2D on autonomic responses to sympathetic stimuli, such as passive tilt and static exercise, is not well known in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Heart rate, arterial pressure, and their variability along with baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) were analyzed at supine rest and during passive head-up tilt (TILT) and static handgrip exercise (HG) in CAD patients with (T2D+, n=68, 61±6 years, 14 women) and without T2D (T2D-, n=68, 62±6 years, 17 women). The effect of T2D at rest and in responses to TILT and HG was examined. In T2D+, the normalized low-frequency (0.04-0.15 Hz) power of R-R intervals was higher at rest (44±17 vs. 38±17 nu, p=0.015) and its response to TILT and HG was lower than that in T2D- (8±21 vs. 2±17 nu, p=0.041 and 3±18 vs. -4±15 nu, p=0.019, respectively). Vagally mediated heart rate variability indices and BRS were not different between T2D+ and T2D-. We concluded that T2D has a specific impact on low-frequency oscillation of R-R interval among patients with angiographically documented CAD. This may indicate increased basal sympathetic modulation of sinoatrial node and lower sympathetic responsiveness to sympathetic activation by baroreceptor unloading and exercise pressor response. Limited effects of T2D on vagally mediated heart rate variability and baroreflex were observed in the patients with CAD.

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