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Can a diabetic patient smoke?

Q: How does smoking affect a diabetic patient? Should a diabetic completely stop smoking?

A:Diabetes and smoking are independent risk factors for premature vascular disease. Diabetics are liable to develop heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, damage to the limbs leading to foot ulceration, and progressive eye damage leading to blindness. Smoking not only increases the risk of all these complications of diabetes but also leads to lung diseases including bronchitis and asthma. A substantial proportion of any general internists practice is made up of impaired diabetics whose complications are substantially increased if they are smokers. It may be impossible to give up diabetes but the same cannot be said about smoking.


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