Many Youths With Diabetes Smoke Cigarettes

But fewer than half of diabetes patients aged 10 to 14 have been advised by a physician not to smoke

THURSDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- High proportions of youths with types 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus use tobacco, which adds to their already elevated risk for developing cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Kristi Reynolds, Ph.D., M.P.H., of Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, and colleagues surveyed 3,466 youths (aged 10 to 22 years) with diabetes from the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study about their use of tobacco. The researchers also analyzed the association of smoking with cardiovascular risk factors, including waist circumference, blood pressure, physical activity, and lipid profile.

For those with type 1 diabetes, the investigators found that tobacco use was 2.7 percent in the 10 to 14 age group, 17.1 percent in the 15 to 19 age group, and 34.0 percent in the 20 and older age group. For type 2 diabetes, tobacco use was found to be 5.5, 16.4, and 40.3 percent in those age groups, respectively. Among the 10 to 14 age group, only 47.2 percent of those with type 1 disease and 40.7 percent with type 2 disease said they had ever been counseled about not smoking by a health care provider. Cigarette smoking was associated with physical inactivity and high triglycerides in youths with type 1 diabetes.

"Tobacco use is prevalent in youth with diabetes mellitus. Aggressive tobacco prevention and cessation programs should be a high priority to prevent or delay the development of cardiovascular disease," the authors write.

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