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Smokers Who Quit May Gain Weight

A new study reveals that people who are able to stop smoking gain more weight and have an increased risk of developing IFG (impaired fasting glucose) and type-2 diabetes compared to those who did not stop smoking.  However, the findings should not be misinterpreted that one is better off if they continue to smoke, according to senior author James Stein, MD. He added, in spite of the gain in weight, the benefits of quitting smoking far outweigh the negative impact of weight gain such as the improvement of endothelial function and lipid levels.

Dr. Stein and colleagues decided to investigate the incidence of negative impact (i.e. diabetes and IFG) three years after smokers attempted to stop smoking.  More than 1,000 active smokers were involved in the randomized clinical trial. More than half were female, white, with mean age of about 45 years. The average BMI (body mass index) is about 29 kg/m2.  The average number of cigarettes smoked per day was around 21 and historical consumption per year was about 30 packs.

Around 43% of the smokers stopped smoking after three years and when compared to those who continued to smoke, researchers found that they gained more weight, had a higher increase in fasting blood sugar and an increase in diabetes rates. The researchers noted that aside from quitting smoking, independent predictors incidence of diabetes were older age and nonwhite race, which are strongly linked to increased IFG. This could explain the greater weight gain and incidence of diabetes among those who quit smoking.


Medscape Medical News. Minimize Weight Gain to Maximize Smoking-Cessation Benefit.



Posted in: News Briefs, Smoking, Weight Loss


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