NICOTINE may be responsible for serious complications in smokers with diabetes, a study has found.
The addiction-causing chemical is associated to persistently elevated blood sugar levels among diabetics, according to new evidence
Scientists said anyone with diabetes should "make every effort" to quit smoking.
There may also be implications for diabetics attempting to kick the habit who use nicotine-replacement therapy. Almost three million people in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with diabetes, and close to a million more may have the condition without knowing it.
Ramifications of the disease include potentially lifethreatening heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and nerve damage.
They appear to result from blood sugar levels running out of control and wreaking destruction in the body. The key to averting complications is good management of blood sugar.
Smoking increases the risk of diabetic complications, but it has not been clear what tobacco substances are to blame.
Research, reported at the 241st national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California, points to nicotine.
Using human blood samples, the scientists showed nicotine concentrations normal of those in smokers appeared to raise long-term blood sugar levels in diabetics.
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