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Diabetics who choose to smoke are significantly more likely to have poor insulin testing results and to develop heart health problems later in life. Despite this risk, many diabetic youths have not been warned of the dangers of tobacco by their doctor, and consequently continue smoking.
Diabetes alone elevates the risk of cardiovascular disease far beyond what a healthy individual faces. However, when cigarettes are added to the picture, the risk multiplies.
In research funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a team of investigators surveyed more than 3,400 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 22 who had diabetes. They found that 10 percent of the participants with type 1 diabetes reported tobacco use, while 16 percent of those with type 2 diabetes smoked.
Furthermore, less than 50 percent of those surveyed had ever been warned by their healthcare provider about the dangers of tobacco.
"Cigarette smoking is a completely preventable risk factor for cardiovascular and other diseases. While this is true for all children, it is especially true for children with diabetes because of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in that population," said Stephen R. Daniels, who authored the study.
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