Aims/hypothesis: We examined sex-specific associations between cigarette smoking and incident type 2 diabetes mellitus in Germany.
Subjects, materials and methods: The study was based on 5,470 men and 5,422 women (aged 25-74 years) without diabetes who participated in one of the three population-based MONICA Augsburg surveys between 1984 and 1995. Incident cases of type 2 diabetes were assessed using follow-up questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated from Cox proportional hazard models.
Results: Up to 31 December 2002 a total of 409 cases of incident type 2 diabetes among men and 263 among women were registered. The number of cigarettes and the nicotine and tar consumption per day were associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes among men, but not among women; this could be due to the low power of the study in women. After multivariable adjustment, the HRs for type 2 diabetes compared with never-smokers were 1.48, 2.03 and 2.10 for men smoking 1 to 14, 15 to 19 and > or =20 cigarettes/day (p for trend <0.0001) and 1.25, 1.34 and 1.37 for women smoking 1 to 9, 10 to 19 and > or =20 cigarettes/day (p for trend 0.0985). Compared with never-smokers, the HRs for increasing tar intake in men (1-167, 168-259 and > or =260 mg/day) were 1.45, 2.32 and 2.07 (p for trend <0.0001); the respective HRs in women (1-89, 90-194 and > or =195 mg/day) were 1.18, 1.57 and 1.24 (p for trend 0.1159).
Conclusions/interpretation: Cigarette smoking is an important modifiable risk factor of type 2 diabetes particularly in men from the general population.