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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1990 Nov;16(5):1120-4.

Prolonged anginal perceptual threshold in diabetes: effects on exercise capacity and myocardial ischemia.

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Diabetic Unit, Newham General Hospital, London, England.


Anginal perceptual threshold (the time from onset of 0.1 mV of ST segment depression to onset of angina during treadmill exercise) is prolonged in diabetic patients with coronary artery disease. In the present study, the functional significance of this perceptual abnormality was evaluated by analysis of its effect on exercise capacity and the severity of myocardial ischemia. Treadmill exercise in 32 diabetic patients and 36 nondiabetic control patients showed a close linear correlation between the time to onset of electrical ischemia (ST segment depression) and exercise capacity in both groups (r = 0.8 and 0.9, respectively; p less than 0.001). However, the slope of the relation was flatter in the diabetic group because prolongation of the anginal perceptual threshold permitted continued exercise as ischemia intensified. The anginal perceptual threshold itself showed a close linear correlation with exercise capacity in the diabetic group (r = 0.8, p less than 0.001), although in the nondiabetic group these variables were unrelated. The permissive effect of a prolonged anginal perceptual threshold on exercise capacity is undesirable as reflected by its correlation with ischemia at peak exercise (r = 0.6, p less than 0.001): the longer the threshold, the greater the exercise capacity and the more severe the ischemia. Indeed, the inverse relation between the severity of ischemia at peak exercise and exercise capacity in the nondiabetic group (r = 0.4, p less than 0.02) was completely lost in the diabetic group. Thus, in diabetic patients with coronary artery disease, anginal perceptual threshold is a major determinant of exercise capacity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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