Smoking before isometric exercise amplifies myocardial stress and dysregulates baroreceptor sensitivity and cerebral oxygenation


This crossover study examined whether acute cardiovascular responses, baroreceptor sensitivity (BRS), and brain oxygenation during isometric exercise are altered after cigarette smoking. Twelve young, habitual smokers randomly performed a smoking and a control protocol, during which participants smoked one cigarette (0.9 mg nicotine) or a sham cigarette, before exercise. Testing involved baseline, a 5-minute smoking, a 10-minute post-smoking rest, 3-minute handgrip exercise (30% maximum voluntary contraction), and recovery. Beat-to-beat blood pressure, heart rate (HR), and cerebral oxygenation (near infrared spectroscopy) were continuously monitored. Double-product, stroke volume (SV), cardiac output, systemic vascular resistance and BRS were assessed. During post-smoking rest, systolic or diastolic blood pressure (140.8 ± 12.1/87.0 ± 6.9 vs. 125.9 ± 7.1/77.3 ± 5.5 mm Hg), HR, and double product were higher in the smoking versus the control protocol, whereas BRS was lower (P <.05). During handgrip exercise, smoking resulted in greater HR and double product (17,240 ± 3893 vs. 15,424 ± 3173 mm Hg˙bpm) and lower BRS versus the control protocol (P <.05), without significant differences in stroke volume and systemic vascular resistance between protocols. During recovery, smoking elicited a delayed return of brain oxygenation indices, lower BRS, and higher double product. Smoking a cigarette shortly before the exercise session amplifies myocardial stress and dysregulates autonomic function and cerebral oxygenation during exercise and recovery, even in young habitual smokers, perceived as free from long-term cardiovascular effects of smoking.

Journal of the American Society of Hypertension