Sunday, April 09, 2006

Passive smoke could give you diabetes

A new study says passive smokers may be at higher risk of developing diabetes.
The American study, published in the British Medical Journal and quoted by many news agencies on Friday, says toxins in cigarette smoke could affect the pancreas, which produces the blood-sugar regulating hormone insulin.
The study, helmed by Professor Thomas Houston of the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Centre in Alabama, USA, assessed 4,572 people in 1985. The same people were tested again in 2000.
In the time period, 22 per cent of the smokers developed glucose intolerance, the medical term for the body's inability to produce insulin. Glucose intolerance is a precursor to diabetes.
Among the non-smokers who were frequently exposed to passive smoke, 17 per cent developed glucose intolerance.
The same percentage was below 12 for those who were not exposed to second-hand smoke.
The scientists said some toxins are more concentrated in passive smoke than what a smoker inhales.
The findings needed to be confirmed by further research, they added.

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