Is smoking bad for diabetes? Why do doctors always insist that diabetics give up smoking?

Smoking and Diabetes

Smoking is dangerous for everyone, but doubly dangerous for diabetics. Inhaling cigarette smoke affects the blood vessels. Diabetes can affect the blood vessels. Both diabetes and smoking tend to narrow them, and narrowed arteries can cause heart disease and gangrene.

A diabetic has 2.5 times the normal chances of getting heart disease. A smoker has 1.7 times the normal chances of dying of heart disease. Put the two together and you have over four times the normal risk of heart disease.

A diabetic has sixty times the normal chances of getting gangrene of the feet. Again, smoking increases that already dismal figure.

A study done at the University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, found that diabetic patients who smoked required 15 to 20 percent more insulin than nonsmokers. Their level of blood fats was also higher.

You might call smoking a kind of Virginia roulette for diabetics. So why are there diabetic smokers? That's a question we have no answer for.


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