Smokers More Susceptible to Developing Diabetes than Non-Smokers

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By : Suvarna Sheth

Verified smokers have a prevalence of developing diabetes twice as much than those who are verified non-smokers, according to a new Korean study published in the Journal of Diabetes.

Researchers looked at data from the Kangbuk Samsung Health Study and Kangbuk Samsung Cohort Study between 2011 and 2013. They studied data for 145,040 adults, whose mean age was 37 years, and 59 percent of which were men.

The authors write that although previous studies have assessed the relationship between smoking and diabetes using self‐reported questionnaires, interpretations may be limited by an underestimation of the actual smoking population.

This study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between smoking and diabetes using both self‐reported questionnaire and urine cotinine levels (a predominant component of nicotine).

Individuals’ smoking status was self-reported and urine cotinine levels were measured.

Overall diabetes prevalence in self‐reported (4.5 percent vs 1.6 percent) and cotinine‐verified (4.4 percent vs 2.1 percent) current smokers were higher compared to self‐reported and cotinine‐verified never smokers, the researchers state in their results.

“This study showed that cotinine-verified current smoking, self-reported former and current smoking and unobserved smoking were all positively associated with higher [diabetes] prevalence in the overall population,” Dr. Byung Jin Kim and his colleagues write.

The amount of smoking and the duration of the habit also revealed a significant effect on diabetes prevalence in the participants:

There was a 57 percent increase in prevalence for those who smoked more than 20 cigarettes per day as well as a 28 percent increase for those who had been smoking for at least 10 years.

“This large cross-sectional study demonstrates that unobserved smoking, as well as both cotinine-verified and self-reported smoking, was associated with increased prevalence of [diabetes] compared to never smoking without any significant gender interactions,” the researchers conclude.