Weight gain and risk of impaired fasting glucose after smoking cessation

J Epidemiol. 2011;21(6):431-9. doi: 10.2188/jea.je20110010. Epub 2011 Oct 15.


Background: Observation of early changes in fasting plasma glucose level induced by post-smoking cessation weight gain is useful in predicting the risks of diabetes mellitus (DM) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG). We investigated the effect of post-smoking cessation weight gain on early changes in the risk of a high fasting plasma glucose (IFG) level (≥100 mg/dL).

Methods: In 946 subjects who underwent repeated health examinations after smoking cessation, changes in body mass index (BMI) and the odds ratio (OR) for IFG risk (adjusted for sex, age, BMI, fasting plasma glucose at year 1, and alcohol consumption) were calculated every year for 3 years after smoking cessation.

Results: After smoking cessation, the rate of BMI increase significantly increased in quitters: 2.36% at year 2 (never smokers: 0.22%, current smokers: 0.39%) and 0.46% at year 3 (never smokers: 0.14%, current smokers: 0.32%). However, it decreased by 0.15% at year 4 (never smokers: 0.12%, current smokers: 0.26%). The ORs for quitters did not significantly increase at any time during the follow-up period. However, among quitters who had smoked at least 20 cigarettes per day, it was significantly higher (OR 1.51, 95% confidence interval 1.1-2.01 at year 1 and 1.71, 1.23-2.38 at year 2).

Conclusions: The time course of the risk of IFG after smoking cessation was similar to that for the rate of BMI increase. In contrast to the findings of previous reports, the increase in IFG risk after smoking cessation was brief and disappeared in the absence of a significant increase in BMI.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Fasting / blood*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Weight Gain*


  • Blood Glucose