Cigarette smoking, alcohol intake and the risk of diabetes mellitus in Gombe State, northeast Nigeria

Published: October 3, 2019
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Alcohol is consumed in almost all countries worldwide. Heavy drinking can reduce the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which can trigger type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes can complicate chronic pancreatitis, which is overwhelmingly caused by heavy alcohol drinking. Alcohol is also high in calories, with heavy drinkers liable to obesity and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Similarly, cigarette smoking is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus among both middle-aged and elderly men and women. Nigeria is one of the three largest tobacco markets in Africa with a population of almost 13 million smokers. Northeast Nigeria ranks 3rd among the six geopolitical zones, with a smoking rate of 6.1%. In this study, we evaluated the risks of diabetes mellitus associated with alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking in Gombe State, Northeast Nigeria. This cross-sectional survey was conducted in a two-stage cluster sampling scheme based on existing administrative divisions. Study subjects were males and females aged 16 years and older who resided in the Jekadafari Ward of Gombe Metropolis. Subjects were excluded from this study if they were less than 16 years of age, pregnant women or suffered chronic conditions such as chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease or chronic lung diseases based on clinical history and laboratory results. The calculated sample size was 1600 based on a 3.1% prevalence rate of DM, with a power of 85% and precision of 5%. We obtained complete data on 1302 subjects, of whom 50 (3.8%) had DM. (5.1% in males and 2.86% in females). Alcohol use was prevalent among 365 (28.03%) subjects, and was higher in males (49.4%) compared to females (11.4%). The risk of DM was significantly higher among alcoholusers compared to non-users, with an odds ratio of 4.1 (95%CI: 2.3- 7.3; P=0.0001). Eighty-eight subjects were cigarette smokers, of whom 87 were males and only one was female. We found no significant association between cigarette smoking and DM (OR=0.34, 95%CI 0.05-2.48; P=0.29). The overall prevalence of DM was 3.9%. Alcohol consumption, but not cigarette smoking, was associated with a higher risk of DM in this study.

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