Secondhand Smoke Exposure May Increase Diabetes, Obesity Risks


A new study suggests that secondhand smoke may increase risks for type 2 diabetes and obesity for adults.

cigarette smokeThe results came from the data gathered by the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2001 to 2006 wherein more than 6,300 adults participated. After analysis of their answers, it was noted that compared to non-smokers, people exposed to secondhand smoke had increased rates of type 2 diabetes and had higher figures for their body mass index (BMI).

It was also uncovered by the researchers that the same group exposed to secondhand smoke had higher resistance for insulin and registered increased levels of fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c readings. A higher resistance measure for insulin is a factor that could trigger type 2 diabetes.

While diabetes statistics were the same for the smokers and the secondhand-exposed individuals, they noticeably had higher A1c readings (measurement of blood sugar control for three consecutive months) compared to non-smokers. Body mass indexes differed too as smokers had lower numbers than non-smokers.

Chairman of the internal medicine department at the Charles R. Drew University Dr. Theodore Friedman who co-authored the study, also shared “The association between secondhand smoke and type 2 diabetes was not due to obesity.”

Dr. Friedman recommends further studies of the same to determine the extent of secondhand smoke to one’s health. He adds that while secondhand smoke is yet to be proven to be a factor for diabetes, the urgency to control the exposure of individuals to secondhand smoke stands.

Complete results of the study were discussed during the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

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