A new study has shown that smoking can increase a person’s risk of diabetes by 37 percent and exposure to secondhand smoke increases that risk to 57 percent.
The study, published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, analyzed 88 previous studies involving over 6 million participants in the United Kingdom. According to Tech Times, the evidence shows that both smoking and secondhand smoke increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
As reported by NYC Today, for those exposed to light secondhand smoke, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was 21 percent higher than those who were not exposed at all. The risk increased to 34 percent in those exposed to a moderate amount of secondhand smoke, and a whopping 57 percent in those who were exposed to heavy amounts of secondhand smoke.
Frank Hu, M.D., a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and a member of the research team, commented on the importance of reducing exposure to cigarette smoke in order to prevent 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.”
Researchers also found that when compared to individuals who have never smoked, current smoking increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 37 percent and former smoking increased the risk by 14 percent. Those who quit smoking less than 5 years ago were at an 18 percent increased risk, and those who quit smoking more than 10 years ago were at an 11 percent increased risk.
“Despite the global efforts to combat the tobacco epidemic, cigarette use remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide,” said An Pan, lead author of the study and professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.
“This study underscores the importance of implementing and enforcing the provisions of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The smoke-free policies can provide protections for non-smokers and may lead to increased successful cessation in smokers.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 18 out of every 100 United States adults who are 18-years-old or older are smokers. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year.
Since 1964, approximately 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died from health problems related to secondhand smoke. Between 2011 and 2012, about 58 million nonsmokers in the United States were exposed to secondhand smoke, and two out of every five children between the ages of 3 and 7 were exposed to secondhand smoke regularly.
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