Smoking Associated With Risk of Diabetes

A recent study from the University of Lausanne looked at 25 studies involving over 1 million patients and found that smokers had a 44% increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared with non-smokers. Researchers believe smoking may be one of the last pieces of the diabetes risk puzzle that could help identify who is at the greatest risk. The study found that for individuals who smoked at least 20 cigarettes a day, the increased risk of developing diabetes rose to 61%. For lighter smokers, the risk was 29% higher than a non-smoker and the risk of developing diabetes is 23% higher in former smokers.

Researchers admit that they could not definitively prove that smoking contributed to the development of diabetes, but the fact that people who smoked were at greatest risk is significant. Proving a link is difficult because smokers tend to indulge in other unhealthy habits such as poor nutrition and inadequate exercise.

 However, previous research has linked smoking to insulin resistance, which often leads to diabetes. Douglas Smallwood, of the charity Diabetes UK, claims that, %u201CWe already know that certain lifestyle factors such as being overweight or leading a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The more we can find out about the exact causes of the condition the better chance we have of slowing down this growth.%u201D


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