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Diabetes. 2001 Mar;50(3):630-6.

Autonomic neuropathy in nondiabetic offspring of type 2 diabetic subjects is associated with urinary albumin excretion rate and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure: the Fredericia Study.

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Medical Department M, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Aarhus Kommunehospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.


The aim of this study was to examine the impact of parental type 2 diabetes on the autonomic nervous system and to determine whether autonomic neuropathy is present and associated with changes in 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (AMBP) and urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER) in nondiabetic subjects with parental type 2 diabetes. We examined 223 nondiabetic offspring of type 2 diabetic subjects and a control group of 258 offspring of nondiabetic subjects. The autonomic nervous system was assessed by three cardiovascular reflex tests, 24-h AMBP was measured with an oscillometric recorder (90207; Spacelabs, Redmond, WA), and UAER was determined through three overnight urine samples. The subjects with parental type 2 diabetes had significantly lower heart rate variation in all three bedside tests (P < 0.01) than subjects without parental diabetes. The prevalence of autonomic neuropathy in the nondiabetic offspring with parental type 2 diabetes (6.7%) was significantly (P < 0.01) higher compared with the control group (1.6%). Autonomic neuropathy was associated with a higher fasting insulin level (P < 0.05), higher UAER (P < 0.001), higher 24-h mean AMBP (P < 0.01), and reduced diurnal blood pressure variation (P < 0.001) after adjustment for age, sex, and BMI. In conclusion, parental type 2 diabetes was found to be associated with alterations in the autonomic nervous system in nondiabetic subjects. The presence of autonomic neuropathy in subjects with parental type 2 diabetes was associated with higher UAER, fasting insulin level, and 24-h AMBP and a reduced diurnal blood pressure variation. This study indicates that parental type 2 diabetes has an impact on the cardiac autonomic function in nondiabetic subjects.

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