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Secondhand Smoke Increases Diabetes Risk

First Posted: Sep 18, 2015 04:53 PM EDT

Previous studies have shown the dangers of smoking. Now, new findings published in the journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology reveal that secondhand smoke exposure can increase the risk of diabetes.

"Cigarette smoking should be considered as a key modifiable risk factor for diabetes. Public health efforts to reduce smoking will have a substantial impact on the global burden of type 2 diabetes," Frank Hu, co-author of the study, said in a statement.

For the study, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 88 previous studies based on the association between smoking and type 2 diabetes risk while looking at health data from over 6 million study participants.

Findings revealed that when compared with others in the study who had never smoked, current smoking increased this risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 37 percent. Furthermore, former smokers risk was up by 14 percent while passive smoking risk went up to 22 percent (otherwise known as breathing in secondhand smoke.)

They also found a 54 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes in people who quit smoking less than 5 years ago, which fell to 18 percent increased risk after 5 years and 11 percent increased risk more than 10 years after quitting.

"Despite the global efforts to combat the tobacco epidemic, cigarette use remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide," added An Pan, the first author of the study and professor of epidemiology at School of Public Health. "This study underscores the importance of implementing and enforcing the provisions of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The smoke-free policies can provide protections for non-smokers and may lead to increased successful cessation in smokers."

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