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Smoking Common in Young People With Diabetes

Diane Fennell

December 17, 2010

Results from a recent federally supported study show that smoking rates are high among young people with diabetes. Both smoking and having diabetes are risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease: People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and people who smoke are two to four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease.

The research team, led by Kaiser Permanente investigator Kristi Reynolds, surveyed more than 3,400 people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes between the ages of 10 and 22 about their tobacco use and evaluated their cardiometabolic profiles, including factors such as waist circumference, blood pressure, level of physical activity, and lipid profile.

The data showed that roughly 10% of participants with Type 1 and 15.7% of those with Type 2 were using some form of tobacco at the time of the study. The researchers found that tobacco use increased with age and was more common in adolescents from lower-income families. Those who were smokers had significantly poorer cardiometabolic profiles (for example, higher blood pressure and higher triglycerides — a type of blood fat) than those who did not smoke.

The study authors note that “Smoking is an avoidable risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Youth with diabetes, regardless of type, should be targeted for aggressive smoking prevention and cessation programs.”

For more information, read the article “Smoking Too Common Among Young Diabetes Patients” or see the study abstract in the Journal of Pediatrics. And for information about how to quit smoking, check out Smokefree.gov.



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