From Our 2010 Archives
Smoking Too Common Among Young Diabetes Patients
Young People With Diabetes Not Consistently Counseled by Doctors to Stop Smoking, Study Finds
By Katrina Woznicki
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
Dec. 3, 2010 -- Smoking rates are high among young people with diabetes, and many teens and young adults with the condition report never being asked about their smoking habits or advised by their doctors to stop, according to a new federally supported study.
Diabetes and smoking are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The national study looked at the presence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease among young people who had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes and whether they smoked.
Smoking Habits Start Early
Researchers led by Kristi Reynolds, PhD, MPH, an investigator from Kaiser Permanente, found that teenagers who had type 1 diabetes and smoked were more likely to be physically inactive and have higher triglycerides for cardiovascular disease, both risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Among their other findings:
The results are published in the December issue of Journal of Pediatrics, and are based on 3,466 children and young adults aged 10 to 22 who had diabetes who participated in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study. Participants provided blood samples and had their blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels measured. They were also interviewed about their lifestyle habits, such as smoking or exercising. The research was funded by the CDC and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases.
The authors note that 90% of adult smokers say they started smoking before age 18, indicating that adolescence and early adulthood may be a prime time to intervene and instill healthier lifestyle habits.
Reynolds and her team state that their research included a large, racially, socioeconomically diverse study population.
"Smoking is an avoidable risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease," Reynolds and her team write. "Youth with diabetes, regardless of type, should be targeted for aggressive smoking prevention and cessation programs."
SOURCE: Reynolds, K. Journal of Pediatrics, Dec. 3, 2010.