Smoking and diabetes

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People who smoke have an increased risk of developing heart problems such as a heart attack or stroke. People with diabetes also have a higher risk of developing heart problems. This means that people with diabetes who smoke have an even higher risk of developing heart problems!

So giving up smoking will reduce your risk of heart problems, as well as cancer.

You will also be less likely to develop neuropathy (nerve damage), nephropathy (kidney damage) and retinopathy (eye damage). Your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels are usually reduced too.

Other benefits of stopping smoking include:

  • Your blood pressure and pulse rate can return to normal after stopping smoking for 20 minutes
  • Your skin begins to look better after 2 to 12 weeks as your circulation improves
  • Any coughs, wheezing and breathing problems can improve after 3 to 9 months
  • After one year, your risk of having a heart attack is half that of a smoker
  • Your risk of a heart attack is reduced to the same level as a non smoker after 15 years

Ask your GP or any health professional for information on local stop smoking services.

More information

Diabetes structured education can help you learn more about your diet and managing your diabetes. Education courses are available across Worcestershire and you can also ask your GP or practice nurse to provide you with a login for Mapmydiabetes.