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December 28, 1999

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Question from San Diego, California, USA:

How does smoking and second-hand smoke affect people with diabetes?

Answer:

One of the biggest problems for people with diabetes is the dramatically increased risk of cardiovascular disease — that is, disease of the heart and blood vessels. If you have diabetes, and especially if you have an increased lipid (fat) level in your blood, your chance of developing heart and blood vessel disease is dramatically increased above that of the general population. Smoking with diabetes raises your risk of cardiovascular disease even more. You can’t prevent diabetes — but you can stop smoking. There are many support groups, medications, methods that have been developed to assist with smoking cessation. Talk to your doctor about these various methods. If you have diabetes, stop smoking now — don’t wait until you are suffering from its ill effects.

MSB