Results of a new German study indicate that passive smoking can increase the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes.
The survey was carried out by the German Diabetes Centre and the Helmholtz Centre and looked at 1,351 people. Until now scientific studies had only shown a link between active smoking and diabetes.
Between 1999 and 2001, researchers carried out sugar tests on the participants. This OGTT test is regarded as the gold standard of diabetes diagnosis.
None of the participants, who were aged between 55 and 74, had fallen ill with diabetes at the time of the test. Seven years later the researchers carried out the same sugar test.
The smokers among the 887 re-tested participants backed up the already recognised link between using cigarettes and diabetes. But non-smokers were also at risk.
Passive smokers who at the time of the first test were exposed to cigarette smoke at home or in the office were twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who had no exposure to smoke.