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Article
July 14, 1956

EFFECT OF THE DOCK CIGARETTE-SMOKING TEST ON THE BALLISTOCARDIOGRAMSURVEY OF A "NORMAL" MALE POPULATION

JAMA. 1956;161(11):1059-1062. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970110025008
Abstract

• Ballistocardiograms were obtained from adult male volunteer subjects before and after a standardized amount of tobacco smoking. Tracings were scored by the Brown grading system. Electrocardiograms were made simultaneously from lead 1.

In the youngest men, no ballistocardiographic abnormalities were found before smoking, and less than 1% developed such abnormalities as a result of the smoking test. The percentage of ballistocardiograms scored as abnormal increased steadily from the youngest (18 to 24) to the oldest (60 to 65) age groups. In the 275 men of the 31 to 37 age group, the percentage of abnormalities was 4.2; in the 177 men of that age group who consented to smoke, the percentage of abnormalities after smoking was 15.3. The incidence of abnormal tracings after smoking increased from 3.05% in the 25 to 30 age group to 72.7% in the 45 to 51 age group. Not one ballistocardiogram showed any significant improvement after smoking. Abnormal responses to smoking were noted in the obese group regardless of age.

The results indicated that age and obesity increase the likelihood of abnormal ballistocardiographic responses to smoking and suggested that the test here described may detect asymptomatic coronary artery disease.

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