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October 1963

Ballistocardiographic Patterns and Nicotine: Types of Ballistocardiographic Patterns Evoked by Nicotine and the Relation of the Most Frequent Pattern to Effects of Nicotine on Respiration, Not on the Heart

Author Affiliations


Medical Service, Kings County Hospital Center, and Department of Medicine, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(4):467-475. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860040063004

Many reports of changes evoked by nicotine in the high-frequency head-foot ballistocardiogram have appeared in the last decade.1-14 These changes often occur in people known to have heart disease or Buerger's disease (thromboangiitis obliterans), but they have been observed in 5% to 15% of normal subjects. There has been no study of the mechanisms underlying positive tests, but it has been assumed that coronary disease might be a factor in predisposing to the change in pattern evoked by smoking or chewing tobacco or by the administration of nicotine. The possibility that some of the changes might be due to noncardiac factors was suggested by studies of the respiratory variation in systolic ballistocardiographic waves in records made with Starr's method or by devices recording motion of the body in relation to the surface on which it rests.15,16 The findings of a study of positive smoking tests on normal subjects