Dec. 3, 2010 -- Smoking rates are high among young people with diabetes, and many teens and young adults with the condition report never being asked about their smoking habits or advised by their doctors to stop, according to a new federally supported study.
Diabetes and smoking are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The national study looked at the presence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease among young people who had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes and whether they smoked.
Researchers led by Kristi Reynolds, PhD, MPH, an investigator from Kaiser Permanente, found that teenagers who had type 1 diabetes and smoked were more likely to be physically inactive and have higher triglycerides for cardiovascular disease, both risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Among their other findings:
Tobacco use increased with age. Among the study group with type 1 diabetes, smoking prevalence was 2.7% among those aged 10 to 14; 17.1% among those aged 15 to 19; and 34% of those aged 20 and older.
Tobacco use also steadily increased with age among those with type 2 diabetes and prevalence was 5.5% among those aged 10 to 14; 16.4% among those aged 15 to 19; and 40.3% among those aged 20 and older.
Ten percent of youths with type 1 diabetes and 15.7% of those with type 2 diabetes were using some form of tobacco at the time of the study.
Among the group with type 1 diabetes, 30.4% of 10- to 14-year-olds, 68.3% of 15- to 19-year-olds, and 84.7% of young adults 20 and older reported being asked by their health care provider whether they smoked or used tobacco products.
Among the group with type 2 diabetes, 47.2% of 10- to 14-year-olds, 51.8% of 15- to 19-year-olds, and 57.4% of young adults 20 and older reported being asked about tobacco use.
Overall, smoking among young diabetes patients was more common among those living in households with family annual incomes of $50,000 or less.
Smoking was more common among Native Americans and least common among Asian-Pacific Islanders.
Past and current smokers who had type 1 diabetes had significantly poorer cardiometabolic profiles -- such as higher triglycerides and blood pressure -- than diabetes patients who were nonsmokers.
Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!
Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Thank you for signing up for the WebMD Diabetes Newsletter!
You'll find tips and tricks as well as the latest news and research on Diabetes.
Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.