Quitting cigarettes interferes with glycaemic control

Type 2 diabetes

By Nicola Garrett

5 May 2015

Patients with type 2 diabetes who quit smoking are likely to see a deterioration in their glycaemic control that can last up to three years, researchers say.

In a retrospective study of 10,692 adult smokers with type 2 diabetes the researchers from Coventry University in the UK found that in the 3,131 people who quit and remained abstinent for at least one year, HbA1c increased by 2.3mmol/mol (0.21%) before decreasing gradually as abstinence continued.

Over the same time period 5,831 continual smokers had a more gradual increase in HbA1c to the extent that HbA1c levels in quitters became comparable with the levels seen in continual smokers three years after quitting.

Weight changes often associated with quitting smoking did not significantly alter the association between smoking cessation and HbA1c levels, the researchers reported in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Although a change in HbA1c of 0·21% (2·29 mmol/mol) might not be considered clinically important, this small increase could lead to an increased risk of microvascular complications on a population level, the researcher said.

“These findings emphasise the need for proactive review of glycaemic control and prompt adjustment of medication around the time of smoking cessation in those with type 2 diabetes,” they concluded.


Already a member?

Login to keep reading.

Email me a login link