Quitting Smoking May Up Short-Term Risk of Diabetes

However, study suggests that after several years, past smokers are no longer at increased risk

TUESDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking cessation is associated with a short-term increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, and strategies to encourage quitting smoking should include diabetes prevention and early detection measures for at-risk patients, according to a study in the Jan. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Hsin-Chieh Yeh, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a study of 10,892 middle-aged adults without diabetes at baseline who were followed up for nine years.

During follow-up, 1,254 participants developed type 2 diabetes, and those in the highest tertile for smoking, measured in pack-years, were at 42 percent higher risk of developing diabetes than their never-smoking counterparts, the data revealed. The odds of developing diabetes for former smokers, new quitters and continuing smokers were 22, 73 and 31 percent higher than for never smokers, respectively, the researchers found. The highest risk occurred in the first three years after quitting, and by 12 years there was no additional risk.

"Cigarette smoking predicts incident type 2 diabetes, but smoking cessation leads to higher short-term risk. For smokers at risk for diabetes, smoking cessation should be coupled with strategies for diabetes prevention and early detection," the authors write.

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