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Smoking found to be one of the three leading causes of diabetes

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 27th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Diabetes poses an enormous health risk to the future of the United States. At least 25.3 million people in the U.S. are diabetic, with an additional 79 million Americans in the pre-diabetes stage. Even more alarmingly, diabetic patients come with a growing list of health complications. A growing diabetic nation could conceivably place an incredible human and financial burden on our health-care system. Three factors that the individual can act upon greatly reduce their risks of developing the disease.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Diabetes in the United States is the leading cause of new cases of blindness, kidney failure, and amputations of the feet and legs not related to accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Life-threatening complications such as cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, and possibly Alzheimer's disease have been associated with this disease.

The good news is that many of the risk factors are often preventable. Alas, few people are heeding the seriousness of diabetes' risk factors as the number of diagnosed cases has jumped dramatically over the previous three decades.

The three leading factors leading up to diabetes:

1. Obesity/lack of physical exercise.
This doesn't come as much of a surprise. Not every overweight or obese person will develop diabetes, but of the 90 percent of those recently diagnosed with diabetes, this is the leading cause.

Certain factors, such as genetics and socioeconomic status, can possibly play a role in how the body reacts to what you eat and exactly what quality of food you can afford to buy. More obesity cases than not can be improved through a lifestyle change of choosing to eat healthier foods and exercising regularly.

2. Smoking. A study conducted over 14 years of 1.3 million South Korean adults were who part of the Korean Cancer Prevention Society, and presented on the ADA's Web site, found incidences of diabetes were higher in those who smoked, and that risk rose proportionately with the amount of cigarettes smoked daily. If there were ever a risk factor that could be easily eliminated from the equation, it would be to stop smoking.

3. Genetics.
If a person's parents have diabetes, then they are genetically at a higher risk of developing the disease, especially type 2 diabetes. Genes alone aren't enough to trigger diabetes, as a multitude of other risk factors, including obesity and smoking, are the triggers that push these high-risk people into pre-diabetic or diabetic territory.

Numerous medications are available to those with a genetic predisposition to diabetes. None, however, is more exciting than a new class of type 2 diabetes drugs known as SGLT2 inhibitors. Instead of working via the liver and pancreas as previous diabetic treatments have, SGLT2 inhibitors work in the kidneys and allow patients to excrete excess glucose through their urine. Even more, this class of drugs has also been shown to cause modest weight loss in patients, although it isn't indicated for such use.

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