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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Diabetes risk for ex-smokers

5th January 2010

Stopping smoking may increase short-term diabetes risk, according to a recent US study.


Lead author Hsin-Chieh Yeh, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins University in the US, said that the finding did not mean people should keep smoking, but that they should not even start to do so.

She also said that people who smoked should give up their habit, though they also had to watch their weight after they gave up.

The researchers believe that the temporary risk increase for type 2 diabetes is related to the weight people usually put on after stopping smoking, since people who have the disease are usually obese.

For the purposes of the study, the researchers studied data from an atherosclerosis study on 10,892 middle-aged adults.

The subjects were followed for nine years, on average.

They found that people who smoked were 42% more likely to get diabetes, and that 1,254 of the subjects had developed Type 2 diabetes by the end of the study.

Type 2 diabetes is characterised by drastically lowered levels of insulin in the body.

However, people who had quit smoking had up to a 70% risk of getting diabetes during their first three years as non-smokers.

Long-time smokers who gained a lot of weight after quitting had the highest risk levels.

After 10 years of not smoking, the middle-aged study subjects had normal levels of type 2 diabetes risk.

People who gave up smoking seemed to put on about 8.4 pounds during the first three years of not smoking.

The more weight they gained, and the longer they had been smoking, the higher their risk of developing diabetes.

The study authors said that smoking cessation should be coupled with strategies for diabetes prevention and early detection, especially where heavy smokers with evidence of systemic inflammation were concerned.


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