Smokers have 30 to 40% greater risk of developing diabetes, in comparison with non-smokers. It increases the risk of developing diabetes as much as worsening its complications. The risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day.
At present, diabetes affects 9.4% of the Mexican population, according to the 2016 National Health and Nutrition Survey. Diabetes is the 2nd cause of death in the country, with 98,521 deceases registered in 2015.
Smoking induces an inflammatory state in the body, damaging the cells and interrupting its proper functioning, as well as it increases insulin resistance. These factors are crucial for developing type 2 diabetes. Moreover, increased blood glucose levels damage artery walls and make the accumulation of fat deposits easier. As the artery gets blocked, circulation becomes more difficult.
Together, diabetes and smoking increase and even double the risk of developing cardiovascular complications and suffering a heart attack or stroke. More complications may arise at a micro- and macrovascular levels, e. g. kidney problems, decreased blood flow in legs and feet which may contribute to infections, ulcers or amputation. Moreover, a retinopathy might arise that may cause blindness, or a neuropathy whose symptoms are numbness, pain, weakness and low coordination in arms and legs.
Furthermore, it has been shown that insulin is less effective in people with type 2 diabetes who are exposed to high nicotine levels, and thus need greater insulin doses to control their blood glucose.
For these reasons, it is important to avoid or stop smoking as part of prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. If you want to stop smoking, the first step is to contact your doctor.
Chang SA. Smoking and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Metabolism Journal. 2012. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530709/
Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía. Principales causas de mortalidad por residencia habitual, grupos de edad y sexo del fallecido. Tabulados básicos. 2017. Available from: http://www.inegi.org.mx/est/contenidos/proyectos/registros/vitales/mortalidad/tabulados/PC.asp?t=14&c=11817
Secretaría de Gobernación. Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-015-SSA2-2010. Para la prevención, tratamiento y control de la diabetes mellitus. Diario Oficial de la Federación. 2010. Available from: http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5168074&fecha=23/11/2010
Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. Smoking and diabetes. 2015. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/50th-i.anniversary/pdfs/fs_smoking_diabetes_508.pdf