A Guideline-Driven Assessment of Need for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Intervention in Persons With Chronic Paraplegia

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Nash MS, Mendez AJ. A guideline-driven assessment of need for cardiovascular disease risk intervention in persons with chronic paraplegia. Objective: To examine percentages of persons with chronic paraplegia who qualify for lipid-lowering therapeutic lifestyle intervention (TLI) as assessed by authoritative guidelines. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Academic medical center. Participants: Forty-one subjects (mean age ± standard deviation, 34±11y) with motor-complete paraplegia (American Spinal Injury Association grade A or B) at T6-L1 levels for greater than 2 years. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Percentages of subjects qualifying for TLI were independently assessed and then compared using National Cholesterol Education Project Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) II (1994) and ATP III (2002) Guidelines. Results: A total of 34.1% of subjects qualified for intervention based on the ATP II Guidelines and 63.4% based on ATP III (χ12 test=4.53; 2-tailed, P=.003). Seventy-six percent (31/41) of study participants had high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels below the high-risk criterion of 40mg/dL established by ATP III. Almost one third of subjects had hypertension, and 34.1% satisfied criteria for diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome. Conclusions: A high percentage of young, apparently healthy people with chronic paraplegia are at risk for cardiovascular disease and qualify for lipid-lowering TLI. Updated guidelines of the ATP III have increased the urgency for early risk assessment and intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-757
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Lipids
  • Paraplegia
  • Rehabilitation
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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