Nicotine raises A1c

Nicotine is being blamed for higher A1c levels and higher risk for complications in people with diabetes who smoke. The findings may also mean people who take nicotine replacement products such as patches, gum, and electronic cigarettes may need to limit or quit those products.

A study has found the more nicotine present, the higher the blood sugar levels. Nicotine added to human blood samples caused A1c levels to increase by as much as 34%.

Study Author Xaio-Chuan Liu, a professor of chemistry at California State Polytechnic University, states the use of nicotine replacement products should be limited, preferably used for a short period to quit smoking. Going cold turkey may be a better idea.

The findings were reported at the 241st national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California.