Purpose: To identify the relationship between smoking and the metabolic profile and existing vascular disease in Chinese type 2 diabetic patients.
Methods: 1710 diabetic patients were screened for complications, and biochemical and anthropometric vascular risk factors. As most smokers were male, differences were only compared between male current (n = 196) and never smoking patients (n = 300).
Results: The smokers had higher glycosylated haemoglobin levels (8.2 +/- 2.0 vs. 7.6 +/- 1.8%, p < 0.001) than never smokers, despite a greater proportion receiving hypoglycaemic agents (87.5 vs. 79.6%, p = 0.003). Male smokers compared to never smokers had lower HDL-cholesterol levels (1.12 +/- 0.31 vs. 1.20 +/- 0.30 mmol/L, p = 0.006), and elevated albumin-to-creatinine ratio (3.57 [2.68-4.75] vs. 2.47 [1.99-3.05] mg/mmol, p = 0.040). However, diastolic blood pressure was lower in the smoking group (78 +/- 12 vs. 82 +/- 12 mmHg, p = 0.001) even though they received less blood pressure-lowering treatments (23.8 vs. 33.2%, p = 0.034). The prevalence of peripheral vascular disease was increased in the diabetic patients who smoked compared to nonsmokers (7.1 vs. 2.8%, p = 0.039).
Conclusions: Smoking was associated with a more adverse metabolic profile and peripheral vascular disease. As mainland China undergoes rapid modernisation and urbanisation, the observed effects of smoking means tobacco control becomes increasingly important to prevent or minimise potential health impacts and chronic disease.