Research has found that cigarette smoking is still popular among children and young adults with diabetes in the US, and that this is not being properly addressed by healthcare professionals, especially as they are already at a greater risk of developing heart disease even before they took up smoking.
The Search Study Group examined data from 3,466 children and young adults with diabetes between the ages of 10 and 22 across various races and ethnicities, and revealed that 10 per cent of young people with type 1 diabetes and 16 per cent with type 2 diabetes are currently taking some kind of tobacco product.
The study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, uncovered early signs of heart disease among those using cigarette products, and showed that just under half of those had been advised by their doctor not to smoke or to stop smoking.
For children aged between 10 and 14 years with type 1 diabetes, 1.3 per cent admitted to smoking cigarettes, while for those between 15 and 19 year, 14.9 per cent said they smoked, and for those 20 years of age or more, 27 per cent were smokers. In the case of type 2 diabetes, of those between 10 and to 14 years of age, 4.4 per cent said they smoked cigarettes, for 15 to 19 year olds, 12.9 per cent smoke cigarette, and for those 20 years of age or more, 37.3 per cent were smokers.
Kristi Reynolds, who led the research, said “Smoking is preventable, so aggressive smoking prevention and cessation programs are needed to prevent or delay heart disease in youth with diabetes.”

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