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Dhall, U; Rathee, S.K; *Dhall, A; Department of Anatomy & *Medicine, Pt. B.D. Sharma, PGIMS, Rohtak. INDIA
Abstract : Dermatoglyphics has been well established as a diagnostic aid in a number of diseases having hereditary basis. Genetics plays an important role in etiology of coronary artery disease, so a study was done on 84 persons of both sexes (42 patients of mycardial infarction & 42 controls) to find out variations in dermatoglyphics of these patients. It is deducted that patients of myocardial infarction have higher incidence of whorls & lower incidence of loops in all the digits.
Keywords : Dermatoglyphics, Myocardial Infarction, Coronary artery disease
Development of dermatoglyphic pattern is under genetic control. This is evident from the clear resemblance of dermatoglyphics among related persons (Schaumann and Alter 1976). Dermatoglyphics as a diagnostic aid is now well established in a number of diseases which have a strong hereditary basis. The etiology of coronary heart disease is believed to be multifactorial with genetics playing an important role. Variations in dermatoglyphics in such patients are, therefore, expected.
Heart diseases are now considered as No. 1 killer in Western countries. Their diagnosis is often difficult due to sparsity of physical signs, specially in rural areas of developing countries where diagnostic facilities are lacking. It is, therefore, all the more important to pay attention to the preventive aspects of the disease. In the present study a preliminary observation was made of the usefulness of finger tip patterns in serving as predictor for myocardial infarction among aged individuals living in Haryana.
Material and Methods :
This study was conducted on 84 persons. Out of these 42 (32 males, 10 females) were confirmed patients of myocardial infarction (M.I.) admitted in Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak (mean age : 51.4±5.19 years). Diagnosis was confirmed by different investigations carried out in this hospital during their hospital stay. The other 42 individuals (34 males, 8 females) forming the control group were randomly selected from the attendents of various patients. They all were above 50 years of age (mean = 52.4±2.45 years) and on interrogation did not have any heart problem or any symptoms related with heart problems. Finger prints of all these cases were taken on white paper by the ‘ink and paper’ method with the help of printer’s ink and analyzed for the pattern types. Percentage of whorls, loops and arches were compared in the two groups.
Results were subjected to statistical analysis using ‘Z’ Test.
Table 1 : Comparison of total number of fingerprints between patients and control group.
Table-I shows comparison of total number of different types of finger prints in control and M.I. patients. It is observed that the total number of whorls was significantly higher in patients with myocardial infarction as compared to control group (p<0.001) while there was significantly less number of loops in heart patients (p<0.001). No significant differences were seen in the number of arches in the two groups.
Since there were significant differences in total number of loops and whorls in the two groups, these were further compared in individual digit.
Table-2 shows comparison of percentage of whorls and loops in individual digit in two groups. All the digits in patients showed higher percentage of whorls, the difference being significant statistically in right thumb (P < 0.05), right little finger ( P<0.01) and left ring finger (P<0.05). Also all the digits showed lower percentage of loops in heart patients as compared to control group. The difference between two groups was statistically significant in right thumb (P<0.01) and left ring finger (P<0.05). Table 3 shows comparison of different types of finger tip patterns in control & heart patients. Significantly more number of heart patients showed the presence of whorls in one or more fingers as compared to controls (90% vs, 71%; P<0.05). The difference in incidence of loops and arches was not statistically significant.
Table 2 : Comparison of percentage of Whorls and Loops in each digit in two groups.
N.S. = Not Significant
Table 3 : No. of persons showing different finger tip patterns
Rashad and MI (1975) reported significantly higher frequency of true whorls in M.I. patients. Rao (1995) reported that persons who have predominant whorls in finger prints have higher incidence of widespread arterial and venous thrombosis. Bhatt (1996) presented data showing significantly higher incidence of whorls and lower incidence of loops in patients with myocardial infarction. He also reported significant differences in controls and patients in the incidence of whorls and loops in all the individual fingers. Observations of the present study add support to these earlier observations. Such differences were significant only in right thumb, right little finger and left ring finger, where whorls were significantly higher in patients with myocardial infarction. Similarly loops were significantly less in right thumb and left ring finger in heart patients. Further 90% heart patients showed whorls on one or more fingers as compared to 71% controls.
This being a preliminary study, only suggests an increased risk of myocardial infarction in persons having predominance of whorls. Such persons can be identified by this simple and economical technique for having finger prints. These persons may be screened regularly for coronary artery disease as a preventive measure. Further studies are, however, needed to support the idea particularly with detailed analysis of other risks factors and severity of disease which have not been taken into account in the present study. Also more detailed analysis of palmar prints i.e. total ridge count and atd angle may further elaborate their relationship with coronary artery disease.
Study was conducted on 84 persons of both sexes. Out of these 42 were confirmed patients of myocardial infarction and other 42 were normal healthy persons. Their finger prints were taken and analysed for pattern type. Study group showed significantly higher incidence of whorls (P<0.001) and lower incidence of loops (P<0.001). Loops and whorls were further compared in individual digits. All the digits in heart patients showed lower incidence of loops and higher incidence of whorls. This simple technique may thus be utilised for screening of high risk patients.
The authors are grateful to Sh. R.K. Sharma, Astrologer and Fisheries Development Officer, Rohtak, Haryana for suggesting the topic and co-operating during the study.
1. Bhatt, S.H. (1996):
New sign of myocardial infarction. Medicine Update September: 411-416.
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