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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 74-78

Cardiopulmonary efficiency in gutkha chewers: An Indian study

1 Department of Physiology, PES Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kuppam, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Physiology, Basaveshwara Medical College, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Anesthesiology, Basaveshwara Medical College, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
A Pakkala
Department of Physiology, PES Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kuppam, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/9783-1230.139168

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Background: Smokeless tobacco has been used in various forms orally alone or in combination with other ingredients. In India, tobacco is taken in gutkha form by a large section of the population. Use of gutkha indeed represents a health concern of growing magnitude among these groups. As a consequence of its addictive qualities, the consumption of smokeless tobacco often becomes a lifelong habit with cumulative and deleterious effects on health. Chewable tobacco has been advocated as a substitute for cigarette smoking. On the contrary, the use of smokeless tobacco is fraught with health risk and needs to be discouraged. Previous reports have described long term harmful effects of nicotine on various body parameters, little is known about acute effect of smokeless tobacco on cardiopulmonary parameters. Very few studies have been undertaken on the acute effect of use of gutkha, a common form of smokeless tobacco in India on cardiopulmonary parameters of youngsters. Materials and Methods: Treadmill exercise testing and pulmonary function tests were done before and after maximal exercise testing to assess cardiopulmonary efficiency in two groups' viz., healthy sedentary controls and healthy gutkha chewers. Results: On studying the differences in cardiopulmonary efficiency in the two groups the resting heart rate (HR) was found to be statistically significantly higher in the study group and the delta HR was found to be statistically significantly lower among gutkha chewers. There was no significant difference seen in parameters like maximal oxygen consumption, maximum oxygen pulse, maximum voluntary ventilation, and maximum minute ventilation as an acute effect of gutkha chewing. Conclusion: In this study, it appears that gutkha chewers are physically fit like controls, but after immediate tobacco chewing a lesser delta HR suggests a higher risk for cardiovascular mortality. Stopping gutkha chewing at this juncture can be helpful in reverting back the risk and parameters like resting HR, recovery HR, and delta HR can be used as prognostic assessment tools for any intervention therapy to stop gutkha chewing in asymptomatic individuals.

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