Sep 21, 2015 09:27 PM EDT
A report last Friday, September 18 revealed that secondhand smokers have a 22% chance of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who have not breathed tobacco smoke. Firsthand smokers, on the other hand, have a higher risk, as previously studied at 37%. Reformed smokers are at 14% more than those who never lit up.
The study published in the medical journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology analyzed around 88 studies with approximately six million participants in the UK to investigate the association of active and passive smoking. Researchers found that both were "associated with significantly increased risks of type 2 diabetes."
Although chief executive of the anti-smoking charity Ash Deborah Arnott has admittedly said that this association has already been known, she confirmed in a statement that "it now appears that people exposed to secondhand smoke and former smokers are also at risk."
UK's research communications manager Richard Elliot acknowledged that "both are extremely harmful to health and a huge proportion of people, die as a result of it." Thus, a decrease or a cut of firsthand smoke would definitely lessen exposure to secondhand smoke.
Arnott advised those who are willing to quit the habit to "use licensed nicotine products or electronic cigarettes which will deal with any cravings and will help them manage their diet to avoid putting on excess weight."
However, Arnott warned that the study found hints linking the two but has not confirmed its direct causal effect. Researchers only "suggest that smoking might be a causal risk factor for type 2 diabetes."
The research further found that in comparison with non-smokers -light, moderate and heavy smokers are at 21%, 34% and 57%, respectively at risk. Moreover, an estimated 11.7% in men and 2.4% in women of the approximately 28 million diabetes cases can be accounted to smoking.
The National Health Service cautions that 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible to the naked eye and can increase incidence of pneumonia, meningitis, cancer and bronchitis. The results, thus, call to enforce and adopt legislations to decrease secondhand smoking and to encourage doctors to conduct health teaching to their patients about the other risk factors tailing behind.
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