BACKGROUND: Smoking increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, several population studies also show a higher risk in people 3-5 years after smoking cessation than in continuing smokers. After 10-12 years the risk equates to that of never-smokers. Small cohort studies suggest diabetes control deteriorates temporarily during the first year after quitting. We examined whether or not quitting smoking was associated with altered diabetes control in a population study, for how long this association persisted, and whether or not this association was mediated by weight change. METHODS: We did a retrospective cohort study (Jan 1, 2005, to Dec 31, 2010) of adult smokers with type 2 diabetes using The Health Improvement Network (THIN), a large UK primary care database. We developed adjusted multilevel regression models to investigate the association between a quit event, smoking abstinence duration, change in HbA1c, and the mediating effect of weight change. FINDINGS: 10 692 adult smokers with type 2 diabetes were included. 3131 (29%) quit smoking and remained abstinent for at least 1 year. After adjustment for potential confounders, HbA1c increased by 0·21% (95% CI 0·17-0·25; p<0·001; [2·34 mmol/mol (95% CI 1·91-2·77)]) within the first year after quitting. HbA1c decreased as abstinence continued and became comparable to that of continual smokers after 3 years. This increase in HbA1c was not mediated by weight change. INTERPRETATION: In type 2 diabetes, smoking cessation is associated with deterioration in glycaemic control that lasts for 3 years and is unrelated to weight gain. At a population level, this temporary rise could increase microvascular complications. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00082-0

Type

Journal article

Journal

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol

Publication Date

06/2015

Volume

3

Pages

423 - 430

Keywords

Aged, Blood Glucose, Cohort Studies, Databases, Factual, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Female, Hemoglobin A, Glycosylated, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Regression Analysis, Retrospective Studies, Smoking Cessation, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, United Kingdom, Weight Gain