Smoking Putting Many Young Diabetics At Even Greater Risk Of Heart Disease

Fri, 10 Dec 2010
A new study has revealed that many children and young adults with diabetes in America are still smoking, and that not enough healthcare professionals are counselling their diabetic patients about the dangers of cigarette smoke.

Smoking is known to dramatically increase the risk of cardiovascular disease . However, the risk is even more severe in individuals who suffer with type 1 or type 2 diabetes .

Researchers from the Search Study Group analysed data from 3,466 diabetics between the ages of 10 and 22 across various races and ethnicities, and also looked at the association of smoking with cardiovascular risk factors, including waist circumference, blood pressure, physical activity, and lipid profile.

They found that 10 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes and 16 per cent of those with the type 2 form of the disease were using some kind of tobacco product.

The research, which was published in the Journal of Pediatrics, found early signs of heart disease among those using tobacco, and showed that just under half (47.2 per cent of those with type 1 and 40.7 per cent with type 2 diabetes) had been advised by their doctor not to smoke or to quit smoking .

Kristi Reynolds, the study's lead author, said: "We found a substantial proportion of youth with diabetes are current cigarette smokers, which greatly adds to their already elevated risk for heart disease ."

"Smoking is preventable, so aggressive smoking prevention and cessation programs are needed to prevent or delay heart disease in youth with diabetes ."