A new study has found that non-smokers who breathe in secondhand smoke have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Field experts have long known that active smokers have more chances of developing type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. But a team of researchers from Ash, an anti-smoking charity, are now saying that non-smokers who are in the habit of hanging around tobacco lovers and inhaling secondhand smoke have more chances of developing type 2 diabetes than non-smokers who’ve never inhaled secondhand smoke.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Ash, gave a statement saying that “We already know that smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes but it now appears that people exposed to secondhand smoke and former smokers are also at risk”.
Statistically speaking, active smokers are 37 percent (37%) more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers, former smokers are 14 percent (14%) more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers, and secondhand smokers (or non-smokers who inhale secondhand smoke) are percent 22 (22%) more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers.
And when the researchers isolated active smokers from the other two (2) groups, they noticed that light smokers are 21 percent (21%) more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers, moderate smokers are 34 percent (34%) more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers, and heavy smokers are 57 percent (57%) more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers.
What’s more, type 2 diabetes comes with its own complication. Those with the condition have an increased risk of experiencing heart attacks, strokes, and even blindness.
According to the NHS, 80 percent (80%) of the secondhand smoke can not be seen with the naked eye, and can increased the risk of experiencing meningitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and cancer.
The research team came to these conclusions after conducting a meta-analysis involving 88 earlier studies, leading up to a total of almost six (6) million subjects. The goal of the new study was to investigate the link between passive smoking and active smoking.
The good news is that either reducing, or better yet, quitting the unhealthy habit will not only lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for the active smokers, but also for the non-smokers around them.
Arnott advises smokers with type 2 diabetes to use electronic cigarettes, nicotine patches and nicotine gum, if they’d like to quit. She said that these products have proven to be efficient in dealing with any cravings that smokers might have, while also helping them “manage their diet to avoid putting on excess weight”.
The study also reinforced arguments in favor of adopting smoke-free legislations, as this approach would drastically limit the number of non-smokers who are forced to inhale secondhand smoke.
On top of everything, the research team estimated that there are about 27.8 million cases of type 2 diabetes worldwide. Eleven point seven percent (11.7%) of the male patients and 2.4 percent (2.4%) of the female patients may have developed the disease due to either active or passive smoking.
The findings were published at the end of last week, on Friday (September 18, 2015) in the medical journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
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