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Open Access Review

Sidestream cigarette smoke and cardiac autonomic regulation

Vitor E Valenti1*, Luiz Carlos M Vanderlei2, Celso Ferreira3, Fernando L A Fonseca4, Fernando R Oliveira3, Fernando H Sousa5, Luciano M Rodrigues4, Carlos B M Monteiro4, Fernando Adami4, Rubens Wajnsztejn4 and Luiz Carlos de Abreu4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Speech Language and Hearing therapy, Faculty of Philosophy and Sciences, UNESP, Av. Higyno Muzzi Filho, 737, Marilia, SP 17.525-900, Brazil

2 Post-graduation Program in Physiotherapy, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, UNESP, Rua Roberto Simonsen, 305, Presidente Prudente, SP 19060-900, Brazil

3 Post-graduation Program in Cardiology, UNIFESP, Rua Napoleão de Barros, 715, São Paulo, SP 04024-002, Brazil

4 Department of Morphology and Physiology, School of Medicine of ABC, Av. Príncipe de Gales, 821, Santo André, SP 09060-650, Brazil

5 Faculty of Sciences, UNESP, Av. Eng. Luiz Edmundo Carrijo Coube, 14-01, Bauru, SP 17033-360, Brazil

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International Archives of Medicine 2013, 6:11  doi:10.1186/1755-7682-6-11

Published: 7 March 2013



The literature has already demonstrated that cigarette influences the cardiovascular system. In this study, we performed a literature review in order to investigate the relationship between sidestream cigarette smoke (SSCS) and cardiac autonomic regulation.


Searches were performed on Medline, SciELO, Lilacs and Cochrane databases using the crossing between the key-words: “cigarette smoking”, “autonomic nervous system”, “air pollution” and “heart rate variability”.


The selected studies indicated that SSCS exposure affects the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to changes in arterial blood pressure. Moreover, heart rate responses to environmental tobacco smoke are increased in smokers compared to non-smokers. The mechanism involved on this process suggest increased oxidative stress in brainstem areas that regulate the cardiovascular system.


Further studies are necessary to add new elements in the literature to improve new therapies to treat cardiovascular disorders in subjects exposed to sidestream cigarette smoke.

Autonomic nervous system; Cigarette smoking; Cardiovascular physiology; Air pollution