Prevalence of Abnormal Systemic Hemodynamics in Veterans with and without Spinal Cord Injury
Wecht, Jill M.
Weir, Joseph P.
Martinez, Stephanie A.
Bauman, William A.
Scholarly/refereed, author accepted manuscript
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License 3.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
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Advances in the clinical management of patients with acute and chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) have contributed to extended life expectancies; however longevity in those with SCI remains below that of the general population.(1) Reduced longevity in the SCI population has been attributed to increased incidence of age-associated chronic illnesses,(2) premature cardiovascular aging,(3) and increased prevalence of heart disease, stroke (4) and diabetes mellitus, (5) compared to the general population. In fact, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is now a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the SCI population, which may be amplified due to increased risk factors such as inactivity, chronic inflammation, and impairment in autonomic cardiovascular control.(6)The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) impairment scale (AIS) is used to document remaining motor and sensory function following SCI; (7, 8) however, the degree of autonomic nervous system impairment is not considered within this classification schema.(9, 10) That said, impaired autonomic control of the cardiovascular system after SCI results in measurable changes in heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) that loosely reflect the level and completeness of SCI documented using the AIS classification, (11, 12) but may also reflect orthostatic positioning.(6, 12, 13) The impact of these changes in HR and BP on cardiovascular health and longevity is not fully appreciated in the SCI population; however, prior to identifying the consequences of these cardiovascular abnormalities, prevalence rates of HR and BP values which fall outside the expected normal range should be documented.The International Standards to Document Autonomic Function (post-SCI) initially established guidelines for the assessment of HR and BP abnormalities in 2009, (10) which was updated in 2012, but the thresholds remained consistent. (14) Specifically, bradycardia is defined as a HR ≤ 60 beats/minute (bpm) and tachycardia as a HR ≥ 100 bpm. (14) Hypotension is defined as a systolic BP (SBP) ≤ 90 mmHg and a diastolic BP (DBP) ≤ 60 mmHg; hypertension is SBP ≥ 140 and/or DBP ≥ 90 mmHg. (14) While these definitions comply with standards established in the non-SCI population, due to decentralized cardiovascular control, they may not be appropriate for use in the SCI population. In addition, relatively recent evidence has emerged which associates adverse outcomes in the general population using other HR (15, 16) and BP (17-21) thresholds. Beyond the clinical consequences of alterations in HR and BP, persons with SCI may experience loss of independence and life quality related to the inability to adequately maintain cardiovascular homeostasis; however, until we gain a better understanding of the prevalence of these abnormalities, the development and testing of effective treatment strategies will not be a priority.Therefore, the goal of this investigation was to assess HR and BP in veterans with (SCI) and without SCI (non SCI). Similar to a recent report, (6) we hypothesized that level of SCI (i.e., the higher the lesion level the greater the prevalence of abnormal HR and BP recordings) and orthostatic positioning (i.e., increased prevalence of abnormal HR and BP recordings in the seated versus the supine position) would influence the prevalence of HR and BP abnormalities. In addition, we hypothesized that the prevalence of comorbid cardiovascular medical conditions, current smoking status, age and use of prescription anti-hypertensive (anti-HTN) medications would influence the prevalence of HR and BP abnormalities in veterans with and without SCI.
Wecht, Jill M., Joseph P. Weir, Marinella Galea, Stephanie Martinez, and William A. Bauman. "Prevalence of Abnormal Systemic Hemodynamics in Veterans With and Without Spinal Cord Injury." Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 96.6 (2015): 1071-079.
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License 3.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.