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Comparative study of cardiovascular autonomic function among blind and normal sighted children – A cross-sectional study

Ashwini R Doyizode, Shantala S Herlekar, Savitri P Siddanagoudra.


Abstract

Background: Childhood blindness has a great impact on overall growth and development of the child. The child suffers from stress, reduced physical activity which increases autonomic discharge.

Aim and Objective: The present study was done to find for any variation in cardiovascular autonomic functions in blind children which are likely to affect their health later.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out including 60 blind children (cases) and 60 normal sighted children (controls) of age group 10–17 years. Exclusion criteria: Children with a history of any medical illness, parental history of medical illness, and dominant hand deformities. Institutional ethical clearance and informed written consents from the parents/guardians were taken. Isometric handgrip test was used to assess the cardiovascular autonomic function.

Results: Z-test was done using SPSS software. Z ≥ 1.96 and P < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. There was increase in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) during isometric handgrip exercise among blind children and particularly in male children compared to their normal sighted counterparts. Female blind children showed increase in the baseline DBP.

Conclusion: Our study showed that there was increase in DBP during isometric handgrip exercise among blind children and particularly in male children and the female blind children showed increase in the baseline DBP when compared to normal sighted counterparts which could be suggestive of borderline cardiac autonomic impairment.

Key words: Blindness; Cardiac Autonomic Functions; Handgrip Test; Plasticity






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