Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Letter: Smoking causes, worsens diabetes.
Letter: Smoking causes, worsens diabetes. EDITOR: Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and the number is rising daily. Since 1980, the percentage of people under 45 with diabetes has increased by 167 percent. There are many risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. Many of these, like family history, can’t be changed. But you can avoid or change some risk factors. One of these is smoking. We have known for some time that smoking makes diabetes complications worse. But new findings from the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report now confirm that smoking actually causes Type 2 diabetes. How does smoking cause diabetes, or make diabetes worse? • Smokers have more abdominal or “belly” fat. This kind of fat makes the body more resistant to insulin. • Nicotine in cigarette smoke may make the body more resistant to insulin. This means that smokers with diabetes may need to take more insulin and have worse control of their blood sugar than non-smokers. • Smokers with diabetes are more likely to have diseases that result from damaged blood vessels than are nonsmokers with diabetes. Chemicals in cigarette smoke cause injury to the cells lining the blood vessels. This interferes with the body’s ability to make blood vessels widen and to control blood clotting. The best advice is to cut back or quit smoking. Call 800-Quit-Now or visit www.wiquitline.org. Dorothy Kalmon, Central Wisconsin Tobacco-Free Coalition, Wausau