Evidence of transient heart rate change after smoking cessation


Heart rate slows immediately after smoking cessation but it is unclear whether this is a permanent or transient effect. Examining this issue may improve our understanding of nicotine withdrawal effects. A transient heart rate pattern would suggest that the cardiovascular system adapts chronically to nicotine and requires a period of adjustment to achieve a new homeostasis after cessation. Heart rate was assessed on 110 smokers prior to quitting and at 1, 3, 8, 15, 30, 45, and 60 days postcessation. For 12 subjects abstinent 60 days, heart rate slowed at day 1 by 8.1 bpm. Heart rate remained below baseline from days 1 through 45, although exhibiting partial recovery, and returned fully to baseline at day 60. The results indicate that heart rate exhibits a pattern of transient change after smoking cessation which seems to be a physiological effect of nicotine withdrawal. © 1992 Springer-Verlag.

Publication Title