We're all familiar (I hope!) with the problems that cigarette smoking can cause for people with diabetes (PWD). Among others that have been described:
Pretty good reasons for PWD to quit (if they haven't already done so!).
But smoking causing diabetes? A newly-published metanalysis says it may well be a risk factor. (See Active Smoking and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.)
Twenty-five studies were analyzed, which included 1.2 million participants. The researchers found that on average, tobacco users have a 44 per cent higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The risk of diabetes was greater for heavy smokers (20 or more cigarettes/day) than for lighter smokers, and lower for former smokers compared with active smokers. "What we found is that smoking is indeed associated with the later development of diabetes, and it's a remarkably consistent association in the combined results of these 25 studies," said co-principal author Dr. William Ghali (quoted at the ADA website). "Smoking is often associated with other unhealthy behaviours that can lead to diabetes, including physical inactivity, poor diet and high alcohol consumption," he said. "It might not be the smoking, per se, but those other mediating factors that are related to smoking and separately related to diabetes."
So, what does this mean for readers of this SharePost?
If you already have diabetes, this new information is important to share with family members who smoke. And, if you're still smoking, you really ought to quit to help your health, for reasons I mentioned at the beginning of this essay.
And if you're reading this as a family member of someone with diabetes and are still smoking, here's another reason to quit: to decrease your odds of getting diabetes.