Heavy smokers with diabetes may be at double the risk of facing an early death, a study led by an Indian-origin researcher has found.
Diabetes is a chronic illness in which there are high levels of glucose in the blood. People with diabetes may also be at risk for numerous other health complications.
"The study found that diabetes doubles the risk for all-cause mortality and non-lung cancer mortality among heavy smokers," said Kavita Garg, Professor at the University of Colorado-Denver, in the US.
In the study, nearly 13 per cent of patients with diabetes died as compared to 6.8 per cent of patients without diabetes.
Participants with diabetes tended to be older, reported more pack-years of smoking, and had a higher BMI than those without diabetes.
In addition, the study also found that women with diabetes have an increased risk of lung-cancer mortality.
However, the same effect was not found in men, the researchers observed.
For the study, Garg and colleagues conducted an analysis on 53,454 participants from US on the relative risk for overall mortality, lung cancer mortality, and non-lung cancer mortality associated with diabetes.
Over the course of the study, there were 3,936 total deaths, including 1,021 from lung cancer and 826 from non-lung cancers.
Garg emphasised that smokers should undergo lung cancer screening as well control their diabetes.
"Patients have to take care of their diabetes to maximise the benefit of CT screening for lung cancer. It truly makes a magnitude of difference in mortality risk," Garg noted.
The study will be presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, US.