Researchers have found that smoking in diabetes can take years off patients’ life. The study found that diabetic smokers are twice as likely to die prematurely, compared to smokers without diabetes.
Dr. Joel Zonszein commented, “Smoking is bad for all, but even more in those with diabetes.”
Not only was the risk of mortality higher among diabetic smokers, but women were shown to have worse outcomes than men. Feale smokers with diabetes had an 80 percent higher risk of lung cancer, compared to smokers without diabetes.
Because diabetes is an independent risk factor for death, the risk becomes even greater when smoking is added. This just adds more evidence to the numerous detrimental effects of smoking on health.
Dr. Zonszein added, “We all know that smoking is not good for patients with diabetes — it worsens peripheral artery disease [poor leg circulation] and heart disease, and predisposes people to an early lung cancer death or disability by chronic obstructive lung disease [COPD].”
Dr. Gerald Bernstein, an endocrinologist and coordinator of the Friedman Diabetes Program, who was not involved in the study, added, “When patients are diagnosed with diabetes, quitting smoking does not always seem like a top priority. Often, what is not appreciated is the fact that the complications of diabetes — an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, damage to blood vessels, kidney disease, infections, ulcers, amputations, and blindness — are more likely to occur if you are smoking.”
Smoking cessation, on the other hand, can greatly improve the state of health in diabetics, enabling them to live a healthier lifestyle, be more physically active, and manage their diabetes, thus reducing their risk of the associated complications.