Smokers may have a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study has revealed. The large-scale study of over 1.2 million South Korean adults showed that initially diabetes-free people who smoked regularly were more likely to develop the disease than non-smokers over the next 14 years. The research also found that ex-smokers had less chance of developing diabetes than people who still smoke.
For men, it was found that the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes generally increased in line with the intensity of their smoking, while for women both light and heavy smoking was linked to a one-third higher diabetes risk as opposed to non-smokers.
Although it has not been shown that smoking directly raises diabetes risk, the Korean study reported “the mounting evidence on smoking and diabetes, particularly in Asians, suggests that smoking should be considered as a potentially reversible cause of diabetes.”
Published in the journal Diabetes Care, the results of this massive study were similar to that of recent research in the US that showed the one-third of tobacco users who smoked most heavily were 42 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than people who had never smoked.
It is believed that smoking may promote type 2 diabetes, by causing chronic inflammation in the body. This may cause body tissues to be more resistant to insulin, which controls blood sugar levels, leading to type 2 diabetes.

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