Although health professionals regularly encourage patients to quit smoking, whether they have diabetes or not, as many as 20 percent of diabetics continue the habit. However, a new study has emerged that quantifies the risks to diabetic smokers and may serve as further incentive to quit. The study comes from a team at the Tongji Medical College of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, under the leadership of researcher An Pan. As the lead author, he coordinated the gathering of data from 89 previous studies on the subject.
Review of this data found that smokers with type 2 diabetes were approximately 150 percent more susceptible to cardiovascular problems. Similarly, researchers found the risk of reduced blood flow to the limbs to be 200 percent more likely in smokers. Past smokers had a lower risk of heart disease and arterial disease as compared to active smokers, although their risk was still higher than that of type 2 diabetic patients who had never smoked. This aggregated data, combined with risk estimates and global death rate information, has led researchers to believe that smoking causes the death of 3.3 percent of women with diabetes and 14.6 percent of men with the condition.