What is it about?

We describe the acute and long-term risks of smoking on glycemic control and microvascular complications in a well-characterized cohort of participants with type 1 diabetes. This study confirms that smoking is associated with poor glycemic control and an increased risk of microvascular complications in type 1 diabetes. Elevated blood glucose levels, caused by the negative effects of smoking, account for most of the significant association between smoking and complications. Individuals with type 1 diabetes who smoke, have significantly worse metabolic control and are therefore at a greater risk of developing complications.

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Why is it important?

This work highlights the importance of smoking as a major modifiable risk factor in the development of microvascular complications in type 1 diabetes and reinforces the importance of smoking cessation.


Former smokers can achieve similar glycemic control to never smokers and reduce their risk of complications. The results of this study should be used to encourage individuals with type 1 diabetes to avoid smoking or to quit as soon as possible.

Barbara Braffett
George Washington University

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This page is a summary of: Mediation of the association of smoking and microvascular complications by glycemic control in type 1 diabetes, PLoS ONE, January 2019, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210367.
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