Patients with type 2 diabetes that smoke are 50% more likely to develop heart and vascular problems compared to non-smokers, according to a meta-analysis carried out by the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China.
The research team, led by Prof An Pa, analysed data from 89 studies involving people with type 2 diabetes in which smoking status and heart and vascular data was recorded.
The results showed that smokers experienced around a 50 per cent greater risk of both coronary heart disease and stroke. In addition, over the studies reviewed, the relative risk of mortality was also around 50 per cent higher for total mortality and cardiovascular mortality.
There was an even greater risk, associated with smoking, of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD is a condition in which restricted blood flow to the legs occur. PAD can significantly increase the likelihood of suffering foot complications leading to amputation.
Looking towards more positive results, if you can give up smoking, the risk of serious heart problems is reduced. The analysis showed that former smokers had, compared to non-smokers, a 19 per cent higher total mortality, 15 per cent higher cardiovascular mortality, 14 per cent greater risk of coronary heart disease and only a 4 per cent higher risk of stroke.
For help with giving up smoking, ask your GP or health team for information on your local NHS stop smoking service.

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