Effect on Autonomic Nervous System in Smokers and Non Smokers- A Comparison study
Authors: Sudhir modala, Qazi Rais Ahmed, Soudeep Kumar Sau
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Smoking is one of the most ancient and wide spread human activities. Tobacco is a major cause of death
worldwide. Cigarette smoke components are mainly carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides,
ammonia, volatile nitrosamines, hydrogen cyanide, volatile sulphur containing compounds, volatile
hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes and ketones. Some of these compounds affect ciliary movement in the lungs
and autonomic nervous system. Habitual cigarette smoking affects respiratory system and cardio vascular
system through autonomic nervous system. So we conducted a study to compare the smoking effect on
autonomic nervous system in smokers and non-smokers. We found that Pulse Pressure, Systolic and Diastolic
BP (Hg) was significantly higher in smokers as compared to non smokers. Respiratory Rate (RR) and Peak
Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) were lower in smokers as compared to non smokers, the difference being
statistically significant. Significant increase in diastolic blood pressure in habitual smokers with isometric hand
grip exercise test was found indicating movement of sympathetic nervous system. The RR and PEFR were
lower in smokers than the non smokers indicating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Key Words: Autonomic nervous system, smoking, respiratory rate, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.