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For the first time, scientists have come up with hard evidence suggesting that diabetics who smoke are more likely to have unhealthy HbA1c test results indicating poor blood sugar control.
The California State Polytechnic University researchers said that doctors have known of associations between smoking and unhealthy blood sugar levels for years. Yet, there was little evidence to prove that substances in cigarette smoke actually caused these blood sugar spikes.
However, after treating human blood samples with levels of nicotine commonly found in smokers, they found that HbA1c levels did in fact increase, in some cases by up to 34 percent. The higher the nicotine levels were, the higher the HbA1c test scores rose.
"This is an important study," said Xiao-Chuan Liu, who led the investigation. "It is the first study to establish a strong link between nicotine and diabetes complications. If you're a smoker and have diabetes, you should be concerned and make every effort to quit smoking."
Additionally, Liu said that this could help doctors make more informed recommendations to their patients.
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