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Don’t Inhale This

If you have type 1 diabetes with an A1C greater than 8% and you are also a smoker, you are at higher risk for microalbuminuria—abnormal levels of protein in the urine that signal kidney complications—warn researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center.

These researchers, who published their findings in the December 2001 issue of Diabetes, followed 943 people with type 1 diabetes, aged 15 to 44, for four years. The subjects had normal urine protein test results for the first two-year baseline period.

Overall, 3.3 percent of those in the study developed microalbuminuria. Smokers were nearly four times more likely to develop this condition (7.9 percent of smokers compared to 2.2 percent of those who had never smoked). Researchers also found a “significant” relationship between A1C levels and incidence of microalbuminuria, which increased if subjects had A1C levels above 8%.

The Joslin study concluded that “patients with type 1 diabetes who smoke and have an A1C [higher than] 8% have the highest risk of onset of microalbuminuria.”

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