Diabetic Smokers Have 50% Increased Death Risk

Having diabetes and also being a smoker can raise your risk of death by about 50 percent, according to a new study from China.

Researchers also found that smokers with diabetes had a 44 percent increased risk for cardiovascular disease, a 54 percent increased risk for stroke and a 43 percent increased risk for heart failure.

"Smoking should be routinely evaluated and closely monitored for diabetic patients," said Dr. An Pan, study author from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China. "As shown in our study, active smoking is associated with increased risks of total mortality and various cardiovascular events among diabetic patients."

The study revealed that about one-fifth of diabetic patients are smokers - and many people continue to smoke after diagnosis, despite warnings from their doctors, Pan said.

Negative effects can be offset

Researchers also found that former smokers had significantly lower risks for early death and cardiovascular problems than current smokers - which means the damage done even from years of smoking can be substantially offset by quitting. In fact, former smokers had about an equal risk for stroke as people who had never smoked, the study found.

"Some smokers with diabetes might be concerned about the short-term weight gain and deterioration in glycemic control after quitting smoking, but the current evidence clearly supports a long-term net cardiovascular benefit of smoking cessation among diabetic patients," Pan said.

The study is published online in the journal Circulation.

Source: Medscape

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