Secondhand smoke adds to risk of Type 2 diabetes

Secondhand smoke adds to risk of Type 2 diabetes

New analysis looks at relationship between smoking and diabetes.

A new study is suggesting that not only smokers are at a higher risk in contracting type 2 diabetes, but those around them are as well.

Harvard researchers say the risk drops over time if you stop smoking, according to an article on

The new analysis looked at 88 previous studies that were undertaken on almost 6 million people, specifically looking at the effects of smoking on type 2 diabetes.  Compared to those who had never smoked, the risk of getting type 2 diabetes was increased by 37 percent in those who had smoked.

Former smokers recorded a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of getting the disease, and those who had been exposed to secondhand smoke on a regular base were 22 percent more likely.

The researchers estimated that almost 12 percent of men and more than 2 percent of women with type 2 diabetes worldwide, some 28 million cases, could be linked to active smoking.

There is some good news.  The study shows that smokers that quit smoking reduced their risk of the disease from up to 57 percent before quitting, depending on the level of smoking, down to 54 percent within five years and 18 percent after the five years.  After 10 years, the increased risk fell to 11 percent.

Study co-author Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, said in a university news release, “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.”

A number of studies have associated smoking with many serious health issues, including cancer, lung and heart disease.  During this recent analysis, the scientists investigated the link between smoking and diabetes, and it was designed to find an association, not a cause-and-effect type relationship.

The report was published on September 18 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.



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