Health Advice



The increased risks of smoking with prediabetes or diabetes

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

When it comes to smoking, there's some good news: In the U.S., smoking has declined from 20.9% of adults in 2005 to 12.5% in 2020. However, that means that around 30.8 million adults currently smoke cigarettes. And a lot of those folks have prediabetes or diabetes. We know that because studies show that people who smoke cigarettes are 30% to 40% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than people who don't smoke. And once they get diabetes, they're more likely than those who don't smoke to have trouble managing their condition.

Well, here's another major risk to smokers with prediabetes and diabetes -- elevated blood levels of a protein called albumin, a sign of cardiovascular and kidney problems.

A study in eClinicalMedicine looked at around 170,000 participants in the U.K. Biobank and found that smokers with prediabetes or diabetes were around 21% to 26% more likely to develop albuminuria as nonsmokers with those conditions.

A healthy kidney prevents albumin from passing from the blood into urine, but when there is damage to small blood vessels in the kidney, albumin can be detected in the urine. Ultimately, albuminuria is associated with stroke and cardiovascular diseases as well as kidney disease.

Stopping smoking is always smart, but to keep albumin out of your urine, you also need to avoid weight gain around the waistline once you quit smoking. Other helpful techniques to reduce or prevent albumin in your blood include taking anti-hypertensives called ACE inhibitors, losing weight, reducing sodium intake and eating smaller potions of lean or plant-based proteins.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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