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Comparison of sympathetic nervous activity among male and female patients of bronchial asthma

Pricila Thangjam, Kanan Wangkheimayum.




Abstract

Background: There is substantial evidence of gender difference in the functioning of the autonomic nervous system. It is suggested that men have higher sympathetic tone and women have higher parasympathetic autonomic activity. This study aims to compare sympathetic nervous activity among male and female patients with asthma.

Aims and Objective: To test sympathetic division of autonomic nervous system in bronchial asthma and to compare the results between male and female patients with asthma.

Materials and Methods: This study was carried out in the Respiratory Physiology Laboratory of the Department of Physiology, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India. Thirty-eight patients (19 males and 19 females) with asthma participated in this study. Lung function was studied using computerized spirometer. Three consecutive spirometric recordings were taken and the best result was used. Sympathetic division of autonomic nervous system was tested by measuring blood pressure response to sustained handgrip for 2 min and to standing from supine posture for 3 min.

Results: Mean rise in diastolic blood pressure on sustained handgrip for 2 min was 19.15 mm Hg in male patients with asthma whereas it was 12.84 mm Hg in female patients with asthma, which was statistically significant. Mean rise in diastolic blood pressure on standing from supine posture for 1 min was 12.84 mm Hg in male patients with asthma whereas it was 8.52 mm Hg in female patients with asthma, which was also statistically significant.

Conclusion: Rise in diastolic blood pressure on sustained handgrip and on standing from supine posture was greater in male patients with asthma than in female patients with asthma. The study shows dominant sympathetic function in male patients with asthma as compared to female patients with asthma.

Key words: Bronchial Asthma; Sympathetic Nervous System; Spirometry






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