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Smoking is common among young adults and children with diabetes, raises risk of heart disease

April 27, 2017

The study also found early signs of heart disease among those using cigarette products. Youth who were past and current smokers had a higher prevalence of high triglyceride levels, high LDL cholesterol levels, low HDL cholesterol levels and more physical inactivity than non-smokers.

"Cigarette smoking is a completely preventable risk factor for cardiovascular and other diseases.  While this is true for all children, it is especially true for children with diabetes because of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in that population," said study co-author Stephen R. Daniels, MD, PhD, professor and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Pediatrician-in-Chief at The Children's Hospital in Denver.

In adults with diabetes, the risk of heart disease is greatly increased compared with adults without diabetes, and smoking may increase that risk.  About 90 percent of adult smokers started smoking before age 18. Because of the already increased risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals with diabetes mellitus, the American Diabetes Association emphasizes the importance of smoking cessation for those individuals.

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente