Quitting smoking increases risk of diabetes

13:39, January 05, 2010      

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A woman smokes a cigarette outside of an office in central London May 6, 2009. (Xinhua/Agencies Photo)

Smoking raises the risk of diabhetes, but kicking the habit increases the risk even more, according to a study in Tuesday's the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study followed nearly 11,000 middle-aged people without diabetes -- 45 percent of whom were smokers -- over a nine-year period. Compared to those who had never smoked, the people who quit smoking during the study had a 73 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes three years after quitting.

By contrast, the smokers who continued to light up were only 31 percent more likely than non-smokers to have developed diabetes at the three-year mark.

The problem does not really lie in quitting smoking. It's the weight most people gain after giving up cigarettes, Pennsylvania researchers reported.

However, smokers are warned not to use the findings as an excuse to keep smoking because the risks of increased heart disease, strokes and cancer linked to smoking far outweigh the small increase in risk for diabetes.

But physicians who encourage their patients to quit smoking should also work with them to prevent weight gain, the study said.

Source: Xinhuanet/Agencies
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