Smoking diabetes patients do not exhibit a higher risk of cardiovascular disease

Researchers Peder af Geijerstam, Fredrik Janryd, and Fredrik Nyström have recently conducted a research study that sheds new light on the relationship between smoking, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. The report challenges the existing expertise on the subject.

– It is, of course, the smoke from cigarettes that can cause cancer and fatal lung disease, not the nicotine, says Nyström, professor and chief physician at Linköping University.

For over ten years, Fredrik Nyström, together with Fredrik Janryd and Peder af Geijerstam, has collected scientific findings from 761 diabetes patients. In several statistical analyses of various risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, the researchers have observed that smoking patients with type 2 diabetes do not have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke compared to non-smoking diabetes patients. This finding was particularly interesting to the researchers because the prevailing expertise on the subject often claims the opposite – that the combination of having type 2 diabetes and being a smoker is among the most dangerous for the heart and blood vessels. With the research study as a basis, af Geijerstam, Janryd, and Nyström chose to write an article that has been published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine.

The research study shows that there is no significant increase in cardiovascular disease among the smokers in the study compared to those who do not smoke. Furthermore, the study shows that of the 761 diabetes patients included, the smokers had lower resting blood pressure and lower body weight than the non-smokers.

– This aligns with previous research on nicotine reducing appetite and the weight loss it can cause, which may also lower blood pressure, explains Fredrik Nyström.

To strengthen the credibility of these results, Nyström looked at total mortality in diabetes patients. Despite the absence of increased cardiovascular disease among smokers, smoking was still linked to increased mortality overall. Nyström emphasizes that it is the smoke from cigarettes, not the nicotine itself, that is associated with cancer and lung disease.

– It is, of course, the smoke from cigarettes that can cause cancer and fatal lung disease, not nicotine, concludes Nyström.