A Possible Early Alteration of Autonomic Activity Assessed by Heart Rate Variability in Saudi Offspring of Type 2 Diabetic Patients

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Daad H. Akbar
Maha A. Hegazi
Hanan A. Al Kadi
Maimona M. Ahmad


Heat variability, Diabetes, Offspring, Insulin resistance


Background and Objectives: To evaluate cardiac autonomic function in non-diabetic offspring of Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients through assessment of heart rate variability. Autonomic dysfunction was reported in glucose tolerant on insulin-resistant offspring of Type 2 diabetes mellitus subjects. No data is available on cardiac autonomic dysfunction in Saudi offspring of Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Subject and Methods: Ninety-seven subjects with family history and 30 subjects with no family history of diabetes mellitus as a control group were studied. Anthropometric and biochemical characteristics (fasting blood glucose, lipids, and insulin resistance) were measured. Heart rate variability parameters were recorded.

Results: No significant differences in the anthropometric, biochemical or heart rate variability parameters between the group with positive family history of diabetes mellitus and the control group. Subjects with positive family history of diabetes mellitus were split into 2 groups as per the presence or absence of insulin resistance. Insignificantly, an increased sympathetic tone was seen in Type 2 diabetes mellitus offspring with insulin resistance as compared to those without it. Body mass index, waist circumference, waist to hip ratio, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and fasting insulin and fasting blood glucose were also significantly higher in the insulin resistance group.

Conclusion: There was a high prevalence of insulin resistance among the young subjects with positive family history of diabetes. Thus, had an increased sympathetic activity compared to those who were insulin sensitive. This study confirms the early autonomic dysfunction in offspring of Type 2 diabetes mellitus subjects previously reported in other non-Saudi populations.

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