Diabetics: STOP Doing This to Cut Risk of Premature Death
If you're a diabetic who smokes, quitting could save your life
Having Type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to mean a life of disability or early death. A few lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, can reduce those risks, especially the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Kicking cigarettes to the curb and closely following treatment protocols can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease “significantly,” according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. In some cases, the risk can be completely eliminated.
Aidin Rawshani, medical intern and doctoral student at the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden, and author of the report, said:
“This is definitely good news. The study shows that patients with Type 2 diabetes with all risk factors within therapeutic target range had an extremely low risk of premature death, heart attack, and stroke.”
For the study, researchers culled data from the Swedish National Diabetes Register of approximately 300,000 people with Type 2 diabetes in the period 1998-2015. The team compared the patients with up to 5 times as many gender- and age-matched individuals from the general population as a control group.
Type 2 diabetes patients were 10 times more likely than people without the disease to suffer a heart attack, heart failure, and stroke, the study found. In general, those individuals have a 45% greater risk of heart failure. 
These individuals also had 5 times the risk for premature death compared to the control group.
Falling into the first category is dependent upon controlling a number of risk factors – blood pressure, long-term blood sugar, blood lipids, renal function, and smoking – and adherence to medication, the authors wrote. Out of all of these risk factors, smoking was found to be the most important for premature death. Elevated blood glucose was the 2nd most important risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
“By optimizing these 5 risk factors, all of which can be influenced, you can come a long way. We have shown that the risks can be greatly reduced, and in some cases may even be eliminated. 
The study also shows that the risk of complications, especially heart failure, is greatest among those under 55 years. This makes it extra important to check and treat risk factors if you are younger with Type 2 diabetes.”
 Science Daily
Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.