A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggested there could be a link between vaping and prediabetes, a reversible condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
The researchers made the connection while analyzing data from more than 600,000 people using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is the largest annual health survey conducted in the United States. They found that 9% of the respondents reported they used e-cigarettes and had been diagnosed with prediabetes.
A person is considered prediabetic when their blood sugar levels reach 140 mg/DL. The condition will develop into type 2 diabetes if a person’s blood sugar levels climb above 200 mg/dL.
“Our study demonstrated a clear association of prediabetes risk with the use of e-cigarettes,” explained lead investigator Shyam Biswal, Ph.D., Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “With both e-cigarette use and prevalence of prediabetes dramatically on the rise in the past decade, our discovery that e-cigarettes carry a similar risk to traditional cigarettes with respect to diabetes is important for understanding and treating vulnerable individuals.”
The researchers said that people who use e-cigarettes are 22% more likely to develop prediabetes, while those who smoke regular cigarettes are 40% more likely to develop the condition.
“We were surprised by the findings associating prediabetes with e-cigarettes because they are touted as a safer alternative, which we now know is not the case,” Dr. Biswal said. “In the case of cigarette smoking, nicotine has a detrimental effect on insulin action, and it appears that e-cigarettes may also have the same effect.”