The Dangerous Link Between Smoking and Diabetes

The Risk of Smoking

Smoking and DiabetesIf you have already been diagnosed with diabetes you might be aware that your condition can have an impact on your likelihood of developing other health issues, some of which can be life-threatening.

What you might not know is that even if you have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes, being a smoker puts you at a higher risk of developing the condition.

More and more experts are becoming convinced that smoking is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes — it’s thought that smoking is linked to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.

Smoking has also been shown to deteriorate the metabolism of glucose and may also be linked to higher BMI index readings. The BMI index identifies those who are overweight or obese, factors which are known to raise the risk of people developing type 2 diabetes.

A recent review of 25 studies into the relationship between actively smoking and a diagnosis of diabetes found that all but one of those studies did reveal a link between the two.

Experts who led this review estimated that 12% of all cases of type 2 diabetes in the US are attributable to smoking. The risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked.

One study revealed that women who smoke 40 cigarettes a day have a 74% increased risk of developing diabetes while men smoking the same number have a 45% increased risk. It’s also believed that exposure to secondhand smoke may also be a risk factor.


Smoking With Diabetes

As well as leading to diabetes, smoking can make diabetes worse.

Heart Disease

If you are a smoker you might already know that the habit increases your risk of circulation and heart problems and the likelihood of stroke. What you might not realize is that if you are a smoker with diabetes your risk of stroke, cardiac and circulation problems doubles.

Smoking and diabetes increase the risk of heart disease in very similar ways, damaging the walls of your arteries,  so putting the two together increases the risk of developing such problems dramatically.

Poorly controlled diabetes leads to high levels of glucose in the blood, which damages artery walls. Smoking can also narrow arteries and affect the circulation of blood. If this happens in the coronary artery — the one that takes blood and oxygen to the heart — this can cause a heart attack.

Next page: three more complications smoking with diabetes can cause.

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