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Home Industry News Smoking ‘raises diabetes risk’

Smoking ‘raises diabetes risk’

12th December 2007

People who smoke are more likely to develop type two diabetes than non-smokers, scientists claim today.

Previous studies have suggested an association between smoking and incidence of glucose abnormalities.

After conducting a wide-scale review of past research, scientists from the University of Lausanne say active smokers have a 44 per cent increased risk of type two diabetes.

Heavy smokers have a greater risk at 61 per cent while light smokers have a 29 per cent increased risk.

The association was also weaker for former smokers, who were found to have a 23 per cent increased risk.

The findings are based on a review of 25 studies published between 1992 and 2006 involving 1.2 million participants.

Writing in the journal JAMA, the researchers conclude that “the relevant question should no longer be whether this association exists but rather whether this established association is causal”.

They argue that some studies provide a biological reason for the link between smoking and type two diabetes, suggesting that smoking may lead to insulin resistance or inadequate compensatory insulin secretion responses.

The researchers also propose there may be non-causal reasons for the observed link, for example smoking is often associated with other unhealthy behaviours that encourage weight gain and/or diabetes such as lack of physical activity and high alcohol intake.

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