Have Type 1 Diabetes? Don’t Smoke.

According to a new study, smoking may influence metabolic control and increase the risk of vascular complications in people with Type 1 diabetes. It also ups your A1C score. These risks come in addition to the health hazards of cancer and emphysema.

(We’d like to add the word “duh” to these findings, because, you know, smoking is bad for you.)

The study, published in Diabetes Care, compared the health of smokers and nonsmokers with Type 1 diabetes. Researchers found that smokers had higher A1C levels – 8.5 versus 7.9 in the non-smoking population. Smokers also had a worse lipid profile, and higher triglyceride and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels than non-smokers.

The study used data from the T1D Exchange Registry in the United States and the Prospective Diabetes Follow-Up Registry in Germany and Austria. Researchers tracked 20,405 patients with Type 1 diabetes aged 18 and older who had been diagnosed for at least one year. Smokers were defined as having at least one cigarette per day.

The study also revealed a large cultural difference in attitude towards smoking. Ten percent of the patients connected with the T1D Exchange in the U.S. were smokers, while a whopping 24.3 percent of those connected with the DPV centers in Europe identified as smokers. Such findings suggest that health care providers who care for the Type 1 community in Europe may want to up their efforts to help patients quit.

The takeaway? Smoking is still bad for you, and it doesn’t get any less bad for you if you’re already dealing with a chronic condition. So if you smoke, quitting is good.

If you want to quit smoking (and we really want you to quit), here are a few links to help get you started:

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Kate Doughty is a third-year student at the University of Virginia, where she is studying English with an area concentration in literary prose.

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