Smoking cessation accompanied by weight gain is linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the Aug. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Yang Hu, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues prospectively assessed changes in smoking status and body weight in three cohort studies involving U.S. men and women. The risks of type 2 diabetes, death from cardiovascular disease, and death from any cause were estimated among those who reported quitting smoking.
The researchers found that recent quitters (two to six years) had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than current smokers (hazard ratio, 1.22); risk peaked at five to seven years after quitting. This temporary increase was directly proportional to weight gain; quitters without weight gain did not have increased risk. Regardless of weight change after quitting, quitters did not have a temporary increase in mortality. The hazard ratios for death from cardiovascular disease were 0.69 among recent quitters without weight gain, and 0.47, 0.25, 0.33, and 0.50 for those with weight gain of 0.1 to 5.0 kg, 5.1 to 10.0 kg, >10.0 kg, and for long-term quitters, respectively, compared with current smokers.
“A temporary increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes due to weight gain after smoking cessation did not attenuate the benefits of smoking cessation on reducing total and cardiovascular mortality,” the authors write.
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