Acute cardiac effects of nicotine in healthy young adults

Catherine D. Jolma, Ricardo A. Samson, Scott E. Klewer, Richard L. Donnerstein, Stanley J. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Nicotine is known to have many physiologic effects. The influence of nicotine delivered in chewing gum upon cardiac hemodynamics and conduction has not been well-characterized. Methods: We studied the effects of nicotine in nonsmoking adults (6 male, 5 female; ages 23-36 years) using a double-blind, randomized, cross-over study. Subjects chewed nicotine gum (4 mg) or placebo. After 20 minutes (approximate time to peak nicotine levels), echocardiograms and signal-averaged electrocardiograms (SAECG) were obtained. After 40 minutes, subjects were again given nicotine gum or placebo in cross-over fashion. Standard echocardiographic measurements were made from two-dimensional images. We then calculated end-systolic wall stress (ESWS), shortening fraction (SF), systemic vascular resistance (SVR), velocity for circumferential fiber shortening corrected for heart rate (Vcfc), stroke volume, and cardiac output. P wave and QRS duration were measured from SAECG. Results: Significant differences (P < 0.05) from control or placebo were found for ESWS, mean blood pressure, cardiac output, SVR, heart rate, and P wave duration. No significant changes were seen in left ventricular ejection time (LVET), LV dimensions, SF, contractility (Vcfc), or QRS duration. Conclusions: These results suggest that nicotine chewing gum increases afterload and cardiac output. Cardiac contractility does not change acutely in response to nicotine gum. Heart rate and P wave duration are increased by chewing nicotine gum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-448
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2002


  • Drug effects
  • Echocardiography
  • Nicotine
  • Signal-averaged electrocardiogram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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