Cardiovascular Disease Study


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of death in the spinal cord injured (SCI) population, occurring at younger ages than in the able-bodied population. Conventional risk factors for CHD include high concentrations of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), low concentrations of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), diabetes mellitus (DM), smoking history, and family history. Other factors that may influence progression of CHD include C-reactive protein (an inflammatory marker), and fibrinogen (a pro-coagulant marker). Individuals with SCI with longer duration and greater completeness of injury are more likely to have significantly worse carbohydrate tolerance compared to other neurological deficit subgroups. Muscle atrophy after SCI is associated with increased insulin resistance. Prolonged inactivity has been shown to be associated with hyperinsulinemia and impaired glucose tolerance. Body composition changes after SCI to indicate significantly more total body fat mass and percent fat and less lean mass compared to able-bodied individuals. Carotid intima-media thickness is correlated with atherosclerosis progression and abdominal adiposity. Individuals with abdominal adiposity are at a higher risk for CHD, DM, hypertension, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia. Abdominal adiposity and insulin resistance are contributors to postprandial lipemia, which may be a more sensitive indicator of CHD risk and progression. The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of conventional risk factors by assessing the 10-year risk for CHD, and identify emerging risk factors for CHD in the spinal cord injured population. Subjects will have the option to participate in a high fat meal test to determine postprandial lipemic responses. Knowledge of this information may be able to detect and prevent future cardiovascular events related to CHD.

Study Start Date

March 2007

Estimated Completion Date

December 2019


  • Procedure: 2 hour Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Procedure: Fat Meal Test


  • Cardiology: Coronary Artery Disease,Vascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine: Cardiology,Neurology
  • Neurology: Spine,Trauma
  • Physician Assistant: Cardiology

MeSH Terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Spinal Cord Injuries

Study ID

Department of Veterans Affairs -- B4162C-5



Trial ID


Study Type


Trial Phase


Enrollment Quota



Department of Veterans Affairs

Inclusion Criteria

  • Male or female, age 18 to 70 years
  • Chronic (duration at least 6 months), stable SCI (regardless of level of lesion or completeness of injury)
  • Able-bodied controls

Exclusion Criteria

  • Acute medical illness
  • Pregnant females
  • Chronic disease (i.e., heart disease, pulmonary disease, etc.)
  • Known diabetes
  • Competitive athlete
  • Lipid-lowering therapy




18 Years to 70 Years

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Study Locations and Contact Information (3)

Study Location Distance Name Phone Email
James J Peters VA Medical Center Bronx NY - Bronx, New York 41.7 miles None None None
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation - West Orange, New Jersey 50.6 miles None None None
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation - West Orange, New Jersey 50.6 miles Christopher M Cirnigliaro MS 973-243-6892 None provides clinical trial listings in an easy to view format. All clinical trial information is pulled directly from This website does not guarantee acceptance into any clinical trial, and is not responsible for adverse events that may be incurred from a clinical trial.