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Smoking and Diabetes

February 5, 2019

A 2018 study published in the journal Radiology shows that diabetes and smoking cigarettes have something in common. Specifically, both conditions increase risk for brain calcifications.

Calcification

Calcification is a buildup of calcium that occurs in different parts of the body. The same way calcium contributes to the hardness of teeth and bones, it can also harden soft tissue and arteries.

This study showed both smoking and diabetes can lead to calcification in the brain. Specifically, they affect the hippocampus, the part of the brain linked to memory.

One of the reasons this finding is concerning is that damage to the hippocampus can lead to Alzheimer's disease.

Prevention

It's safe to say that if you have diabetes, it's a good idea to quit smoking.

Of course, that's easier said than done.

Something simple you can do is visit your doctor for regular blood tests to evaluate your calcium levels.

Also, ask your doctor if medications you're taking might be increasing your calcium levels. Request personalized advice on your diet and optimal calcium intake.

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Are you currently smoking? What are your thoughts on this study?

To read more about diabetes health, check out Is Diabetic Neuropathy Linked to Back Pain? and Prevention of Foot Ulcers: What Can I Do?

Newsletter

In a recent study, the OECD calls for immediate action on a global scale to prevent lower limb amputations caused by diabetes.

Diabetes can be a burden for a lot of people, and also comes at a great cost to society. One of the most common – and dangerous – complications, are diabetic foot ulcers and the risk of amputations they cause. We believe that these foot complications can be prevented.

In this new series of blog posts, we highlight the latest research on diabetic foot related problems. We hope that decision-makers, physicians, insurers and others recognize the urgent need for a solution and that those solutions are in fact at hand. Ulcers and amputations can be prevented.

In this week’s blog, we look at a recent study published by a major international think tank, the OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Their study was published in the October issue of Acta Diabetelogica, a leading scientific journal that publishes reports of experimental and clinical research on diabetes.

In their study, ‘Lower extremity amputation rates in people with diabetes as an indicator of health systems performance´, Carinci, Massi Benedetti, Klazinga and Uccioli compare trends and variations of amputations across multiple countries. Here are some of their findings:

Alarming statistics from OECD about diabetic foot ulcers and amputations

In the chart below you can see that amputation rates in the US are higher than in many other countries and well above average.

Statistics about lower extremity amputations caused by diabetes

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