Smoking cessation carries the risk of diabetes

Smoking cessation temporarily increases the risk of diabetes, but researchers say the benefits of smoking cessation outweigh the risks

Bill Hendrick
WebMD Health News

Review by Louise Chang, MD

January 4, 2010-Smoking is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, but ironically, quitting habits may increase the risk of diabetes in the short term, a new study states. I will.

Researchers say that people who quit smoking usually gain weight. This may explain a temporary increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is closely associated with obesity.

The findings are reported in the January 5 issue of. Annual report of internal medicine..

The authors emphasize that their findings should not discourage people from quitting smoking. It is also a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, and cancer. They say that the health benefits of smoking cessation outweigh the short-term risks.

“The message is: Don’t start smoking,” said Dr. Hsin-Chieh Yeh, an epidemiologist and lead author of the study at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in a news release. “If you smoke, give it up. That’s right.”

She states that smokers who quit smoking “need to monitor their weight as well,” because obesity is associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems.

Researchers from 1987 to 1989 enrolled 10,892 middle-aged adults who did not have diabetes and followed them for 9 years. Overall, the study found that smokers were 42% more at risk of developing diabetes during the follow-up period than nonsmokers. However, smokers who quit smoking were 70% more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first 6 years after quitting than those who had never smoked.

Researchers say the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is highest in the first 3 years after quitting smoking and returns to normal 10 years later.

Among those who continued to smoke during that period, they were 30% more likely to develop diabetes than those who had never smoked.

The study found that those who smoked the most and those who gained the most weight after quitting smoking were most likely to develop diabetes.

The authors report that new smokers had significantly increased weight, waistline measurements, and fasting blood glucose levels compared to those who had never smoked.

Yeh et al. State that doctors should remind patients of the benefits of exercising, staying fit and avoiding smoking.

“For smokers at risk of diabetes, smoking cessation should be combined with strategies for diabetes prevention and early detection,” the author writes.

They say the study “has evidence of systemic inflammation, suggesting that heavy smokers who gain significant weight after quitting smoking have the highest risk of diabetes.”

“”[P]Doctors need to be aware of this increased risk and especially consider measures against heavy smokers, “the researchers say.

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Source: News Release, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution.

Yeah, H. Internal medicine archive, January 5, 2010; Volume 152.

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Smoking cessation carries the risk of diabetes

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