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The effects of cigarette smoking on aerobic and anaerobic capacity and heart rate variability among female university students

By Lee CL and Chang WD


Chia-Lun Lee,1 Wen-Dien Chang21Physical Education Section for General Education, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 2Department of Sports Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, TaiwanAim: In this study, the effects of cigarette smoking on maximal aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, and heart rate variability among female university students were investigated.Materials and methods: Twelve smokers and 21 nonsmokers participated in this study. All participants performed an intermittent sprint test (IST) and a 20 m shuttle run test to measure their anaerobic capacity and maximal aerobic capacity. The IST was comprised of 6 &times; 10-second sprints with a 60-second active recovery between each sprint. Heart rate variability was recorded while the participants were in a supine position 20 minutes before and 30 minutes after the IST.Results: The total work, peak power, and heart rate of the smokers and nonsmokers did not differ significantly. However, the smokers&rsquo; average power declined significantly during sprints 4 to 6 (smokers versus nonsmokers, respectively: 95% confidence interval =6.2&ndash;7.2 joule/kg versus 6.8&ndash;7.6 joule/kg; P<0.05), and their fatigue index increased (smokers versus nonsmokers, respectively: 35.8% &plusmn; 2.3% versus 24.5% &plusmn; 1.76%; P<0.05) during the IST. The maximal oxygen uptake of nonsmokers was significantly higher than that of the smokers (P<0.05). The standard deviation of the normal to normal intervals and the root mean square successive difference did not differ significantly between nonsmokers and smokers. However, the nonsmokers exhibited a significantly higher normalized high frequency (HF), and significantly lower normalized low frequency (LF), LF/HF ratio, and natural logarithm of the LF/HF when compared with those of the smokers (P<0.05).Conclusion: Smoking may increase female smokers&rsquo; exercise fatigue and decrease their average performance during an IST, while reducing their maximal aerobic capacity. Furthermore, smoking reduces parasympathetic nerve activity and activates sympathetic cardiac control.Keywords: exercise test, exercise tolerance, heart rate, physical endurance, vital sign

Topics: Gynecology and obstetrics, RG1-991, Medicine, R, DOAJ:Gynecology and Obstetrics, DOAJ:Medicine (General), DOAJ:Health Sciences
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
Year: 2013
OAI identifier:
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