Cardiovascular Autonomic Neuropathy: a Serious Diabetic Complication Now Easier to Detect and Manage with Critical Care Assessment

In a recent post, we talked about the debilitating effects of diabetic autonomic neuropathy (DAN) and perhaps the most serious side-effect of it – cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN).  Using information in an article by the American Diabetes Association, we helped you understand what DAN is and how it’s treated.

Today, we’re going to talk about CAN – what it is and how it’s easier than ever for physicians to detect and monitor with our critical care test.

Before moving on, though, it’s important to understand that diabetic and cardiovascular neuropathy don’t exist on the same plane.  In other words, you often get one before you get the other and the process usually begins with diabetes.

The process looks like this: Diabetes –> Diabetic Neuropathy –> Cardiovascular Neuropathy

Although DAN and CAN aren’t the same thing, they are very closely connected.


What Exactly is Cardiovascular Autonomic Neuropathy?

Even though the two neuropathy diseases are closely connected, they aren’t the same thing.  They have the same effect, but in different areas.  DAN is a broader term that suggests what diabetes does to the nerve fibers in general whereas CAN is specifically responsible for nerve fiber damage in the heart and blood vessels.  A serious side-effect of the complication includes heart rate abnormalities, and the most serious side-effect is death.

The following is a graph created by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) that depicts the higher mortality rate found in people with CAN compared to those without it.  This graph was made using the information obtained from 2,900 people and a baseline measurement.


As you may have guessed, the effects of a damaged heart and blood vessels caused by CAN increase mortality rates.  This is reinforced in the above graph featured in an article about CAN by the American Heart Association (AHA).


A Healthcare Tool is Readily Available

According to the AHA article, “Advances in technology now make it possible to objectively identify early stages of CAN with the use of careful measurement of autonomic function.”

The article is referring to the kind of technology embraced by Critical Care Assessment and the tool used to monitor autonomic function and balance.

To experience how this tool works, contact Critical Care Assessment online or call 888-236-8019 today.

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