Smoking May Increase Type 2 Diabetes Risk, Study Says
As if you needed yet another reason to ditch the cigarettes, research from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) says smoking may increase your type 2 diabetes risk.
The 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s report first suggested a link between smoking and type 2 diabetes, but HSPH’s research adds evidence to the debate. The researchers performed a meta-analysis of 88 prior studies that looked at associations between smoking and type 2 diabetes. After analyzing the data of the 6 million people who participated in those studies, they estimated that, worldwide, 11.7 percent of men and 2.4 percent of women with type 2 diabetes can relate their disease back to smoking in some way.
Their analysis also suggests that current smokers have a 37 percent higher risk of developing diabetes than non-smokers, former smokers have a 14 percent higher risk, and those consistently exposed to second-hand smoke have a 22 percent higher risk. Additionally, former smokers’ diabetes risk fell the longer they had gone without smoking. The number of cigarettes smoked per day also made a difference, with the heaviest smokers experiencing the highest chances of developing diabetes.
“Cigarette smoking should be considered as a key modifiable risk factor for diabetes. Public health efforts to reduce smoking will have a substantial impact on the global burden of type 2 diabetes,” said co-author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH, in a statement.