4.13 Secondhand smoke and type 2 diabetes

As noted in Section 4.6, individuals with existing diabetes are at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease if exposed to secondhand smoke.1

Research suggests that the risk of developing glucose intolerance (an indicator of high risk for developing type 2 diabetes) is increased in young adults exposed to secondhand smoke over a 15-year period. This study showed that current smokers had the highest rate of development of glucose intolerance, followed by never smokers exposed to secondhand smoke, and unexposed never smokers.2 In older populations, chronic exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with developing type 2 diabetes, and the risk increases with greater daily exposure and the number of years of exposure.36 Further research is needed to confirm this association, and determine if it is causal.

Recent news and research

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1. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and California Air Resources Board. Health effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke: final report, approved at the Panel's June 24, 2005 meeting. Sacramento: California Environmental Protection Agency, 2005. Available from: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/environmental_tobacco/2005etsfinal.html

2. Houston T, Person S, Pletcher M, Liu K, Iribarren C and Kiefe C. Active and passive smoking and development of glucose intolerance among young adults in a prospective cohort: CARDIA study. British Medical Journal 2006;332:1064–9. Available from: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/332/7549/1064

3. Ko K, Min H, Ahn Y, Park S, Kim C, Park J, et al. A prospective study investigating the association between environmental tobacco smoke exposure and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in never smokers. Annals of Epidemiology 2010;21(1):42–7. Available from: http://www.annalsofepidemiology.org/article/PIIS1047279710003601/fulltext

4. Kowall B, Rathmann W, Strassburger K, Heier M, Holle R, Thorand B, et al. Association of passive and active smoking with incident type 2 diabetes mellitus in the elderly population: the KORA S4/F4 cohort study. European Journal of Epidemiology 2010;25(6)393–402. Available from: https://commerce.metapress.com/content/t046126up1m4n171/resource-secured/?target=fulltext.pdf&sid=tmlmlgv3roobr255ualzem55&sh=www.springerlink.com

5. Vardavas CI, Lionis C, Polychronopoulos E, Zeimbekis A, Bountziouka V, Stravopodis P, et al. The role of secondhand smoking on the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in elderly men and women living in Mediterranean islands: the MEDIS study. Diabetic Medicine 2009;27(2):242–3. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-5491.2009.02889.x/full

6. Leung C, Lam T, Ho K, Yew W, Tam C, Chan W, et al. Passive smoking and tuberculosis. Archives of Internal Medicine 2010;170(3):287–92. Available from: http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/170/3/287

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