A new study has shown that type 2 diabetes patients who smoke increase their changes of experiencing heart disease, heart failure, clogged arteries, strokes, reduced blood flow, and even premature death, compared to that type 2 diabetes patients who don’t smoke.
The good news is that you can diminish the danger by quitting the unhealthy habit. The researchers say that patients who used to smoke but stopped, still had a higher risk of experiencing complications when compared to patients who were never smokers, however they had a lower risk of experiencing complications when compared to type 2 diabetes patients who did not quit smoking.
An Pan, lead author and professor from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China), gave a statement to Reuters Health informing that many patients with type 2 diabetes are still in the habit of smoking.
He said that this is the reason why he and his colleagues “wanted to know whether smoking was related to total mortality and cardiovascular events among diabetic patients, and whether smoking cessation would reduce the risks”.
Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warn that type 2 diabetes patients who are in the habit of smoking increase their changes of developing heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, as well as blindness.
To reach these conclusions, professor Pan and his colleagues studied data gather by 89 earlier studies that investigated smoking habits of type 2 diabetes patients and the dangers associated with them.
The conclusion was that diabetics who smoked were about one and a half (1.5) times more likely to report suffering from heart disease, strokes, clogged arteries, and heart failure. They were also over two (2) times more likely to report suffering from reduced blood flow to their limbs, or from peripheral artery disease.
As for the diabetics who stopped smoking, they were one point two (1.2) times more likely to report suffering from clogged arteries, and one point one (1.1) times more likely to report suffering from overall heart disease.
After taking into account these values, as well as the global rates of deaths associated with diabetes, professor Pan and his colleagues estimated that smoking is responsible for 14.6 percent (14.6%) of deaths among men with type 2 diabetes, and for 3.3 percent (3.3%) of deaths among women with type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy, division chief of global health from the University of California (San Diego), gave a statement of his own to Reuters Health saying that some type 2 diabetes patients may not get the care that they need from physicians.
He explained that “The physician caring for the diabetes patient might be focusing on cardiovascular risk factors or diabetes complications and diet and weight control”, and end up neglecting other important risk factors such as smoking.
But some of the fault may lie with the patients themselves as many refuse to stop smoking out of fear that they may gain weight and fail to lose it.
The findings were published earlier this week, in the medical journal Circulation.
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