Type 2 ‘risk’ for passive smokers

By Editor
24th September 2015
Latest news

Non-smokers who breathe in other people’s cigarette smoke are at significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research has suggested.

The study was published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology medical journal. The findings were contained in a meta-analysis of 88 previous studies, covering almost six million participants.

Speaking to the Medscape Medical News, first author An Pan, PhD, Assistant Dean of the School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, in Wuhan, China, said: “Despite global efforts to combat the tobacco epidemic, smoking remains a major public-health threat for many countries.

“Our findings provide strong evidence that smoking is related to increased risk of diabetes and lend further support to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.”

The research suggested that passive smoking increased a non-smoker’s chances of developing diabetes by 22 per cent compared with the chances for those who have never inhaled tobacco smoke.

It is well known that active smokers are more likely to develop diabetes, and these latest findings assess that risk as being 37 per cent. Former smokers are also at an increased risk – put at 14 per cent more than for those who have never lit up – of type 2 diabetes, which itself increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and blindness.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of the anti-smoking charity Ash, said: “We already know that smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes but it now appears that people exposed to second-hand smoke and former smokers are also at risk.

“We advise smokers with diabetes who want to stop smoking to use licensed nicotine products or electronic cigarettes which will deal with any cravings and will help them manage their diet to avoid putting on excess weight.”

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