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Health Tip: Smoking and Diabetes

-- Smoking is harmful for everyone, but it can be particularly dangerous for diabetics, who are already at risk of complications such as cardiovascular disease.

If you're a diabetic who has smoked, no matter how long, you can improve your health by quitting. The American Diabetes Association offers this list of potential dangers for diabetics who smoke:

  • Smoking decreases oxygen in the tissues, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
  • Smoking increases cholesterol and blood pressure, which raises your risk of heart attack.
  • Smoking constricts and damages blood vessels, which can make foot ulcers worse.
  • Smoking increases your risk of damage to the nerves and kidneys.
  • Smoking increases your risk of colds and other respiratory illnesses.
  • Smoking increases blood sugar levels.
  • Smoking triples your risk of death from cardiovascular disease, compared to diabetics who don't smoke.

Posted: January 2009


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