People with diabetes who smoke are doubling their chances of dying early, according to a new study.
A team of US researches looked at 53,000 former and current smokers across a seven-year period.
Almost 13 per cent of smokers with diabetes died in comparison to the seven per cent of those who did not have the condition during the research.
Gender also played a part, with the findings suggesting females with diabetes who smoke have an 80 per cent increased risk of dying from lung cancer compared to those without diabetes.
Lead researcher Dr Kavita Garg, who is a professor of radiology at the University of Colorado in Denver, said: “In our study, we found a statistically significant link between diabetes and all-cause deaths, non-lung cancer deaths and lung cancer deaths in women.”
The data used for the study was taken from participants in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), with researchers evaluating the best way to detect early lung cancer using either CT scans or chest x-rays.
Of the 53,212 people who took part in the NLST, 5,174 had diabetes at the time they were screened.
Dr Garg said: “We found that diabetes doubles the risk for all-cause mortality and non-lung cancer mortality among heavy smokers.
“We also found that women with diabetes have an increased risk of lung cancer mortality, but did not find the same effect in men.”
It is thought there are more than 29 million people in America who have diabetes, which is why Dr Garg said it is crucial smokers who have the condition must undergo lung cancer screening.
She said: “Patients have to take care of their diabetes to maximize the benefit of CT screening for lung cancer. It truly makes a magnitude of difference in mortality risk.”
The findings of the study will be presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

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