High consumption of smokeless tobacco ("snus") predicts increased risk of type 2 diabetes in a 10-year prospective study of middle-Aged Swedish men

1Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Endocrine and Diabetes Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 1.83). 10/2012; 40(8). DOI: 10.1177/1403494812459814
Source: PubMed


Cigarette smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). In Sweden and the US, people shift from smoking cigarettes to smokeless tobacco, i.e. oral moist snuff, "snus", to attain harm-reduction. There are limited and conflicting data as to whether snus increases the risk of T2D. The present study investigated if snus use predicts the risk of T2D incidence.

This is a prospective population-based study where middle-aged Swedish men (n=2,383), without previously diagnosed T2D, were investigated with oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at baseline in 1992-94 and at follow-up 10 years later. Odds ratios (ORs) for newly diagnosed T2D at follow-up were assessed among those using snus, or cigarettes, at both baseline and follow-up, adjusted for major confounders.

The OR for T2D was not significantly increased in the whole group of snus users. However, the risk of diabetes increased with increasing weekly snus consumption; ORs (CIs) for >four boxes of snus/week were 2.1 (CI 0.9-4.9), and for >five boxes/week 3.3 (CI 1.4-8.1). For comparison, men smoking at baseline and still smoking at follow-up had an increased risk of diabetes compared with never smokers, OR 1.5 (CI 0.8-3.0), most evident for those smoking >15 cigarettes per day, OR 2.4 (CI 1.0-5.8). Tobacco use was associated with estimations of low insulin response (OGTT), but not low insulin sensitivity (HOMA).

High consumption of snus, like smoking, predicts risk of developing T2D. This should be considered when seeking harm-reduction by changing from use of cigarettes to snus. T2D risk from tobacco use may be mediated by effects on beta-cell function.

17 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoking is known to cause a wide range of damaging health outcomes; however, the effects of non-cigarette tobacco products are either unknown or perceived as less harmful than cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco, cigar smoking, and waterpipe smoking have increased in usage over the past few decades. Some experts believe that their use is reaching epidemic proportions. Factors such as a perception of harm reduction, targeted advertising, and unrecognized addiction may drive the increased consumption of non-cigarette tobacco products. In particular, the need for social acceptance, enjoyment of communal smoking activities, and exotic nature of waterpipe smoking fuels, in part, its popularity. The public is looking for "safer" alternatives to smoking cigarettes, and some groups advertise products such as smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes as the alternatives they seek. Though it is clear that cigar and waterpipe tobacco smoking are probably as dangerous to health as cigarette smoking, there is an opinion among users that the health risks are less compared to cigarette smoking. This is particularly true in younger age groups. In the cases of smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes, the risks to health are less clear and there may be evidence of a harm reduction compared to cigarettes. In this article, we discuss commonly used forms of non-cigarette tobacco products, their impacts on lung health, and relevant controversies surrounding their use.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Smokeless tobacco is of increasing interest to public health researchers and policy makers. This study aims to measure prevalence of smokeless tobacco use (nasal dry snuff, snus and chewing tobacco) among young Swiss men, and to describe its correlates. We invited 13 245 young men to participate in this survey on socio-economic and substance use data. Response rate was 45.2%. We included 5720 participants. Descriptive statistics and multivariable-adjusted logistic regression were performed. Mean age of participants was 19.5 years. Self-reported use once a month or more often was 8% for nasal dry snuff, 3% for snus and negligible for chewing tobacco. In multivariable-adjusted logistic regression, the odds for nasal dry snuff use increased in non daily smokers [odds ratio (OR) 2.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.90-3.05], compared with non smokers, participants reporting risky weekly drinking volume (OR 3.93, 95% CI 1.86-8.32), compared with abstinents, and binge drinking once a month or more often (OR 7.41, 95% CI 4.11-13.38), compared with never binge drinking. Nasal dry snuff use was positively associated with higher BMI, average or above family income and German language, compared with French, and negatively associated with academic higher education, compared with non higher education, and occasional cannabis use, compared with no cannabis use. Correlates of snus were similar to those of nasal dry snuff. One in 12 young Swiss men use nasal dry snuff and 3% use snus. Consumption of smokeless tobacco is associated with a cluster of other risky behaviours, especially binge drinking.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · The European Journal of Public Health
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examines the effect of past tobacco control policies and projects the effect of future policies on smoking and snus use prevalence and associated premature mortality in Sweden. The established SimSmoke model was adapted with population, smoking rates and tobacco control policy data from Sweden. SimSmoke evaluates the effect of taxes, smoke-free air, mass media, marketing bans, warning labels, cessation treatment and youth access policies on smoking and snus prevalence and the number of deaths attributable to smoking and snus use by gender from 2010 to 2040. Sweden SimSmoke estimates that significant inroads to reducing smoking and snus prevalence and premature mortality can be achieved through tax increases, especially when combined with other policies. Smoking prevalence can be decreased by as much as 26% in the first few years, reaching a 37% reduction within 30 years. Without effective tobacco control policies, almost 54 500 lives will be lost in Sweden due to tobacco use by the year 2040. Besides presenting the benefits of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy, the model identifies gaps in surveillance and evaluation that can help better focus tobacco control policy in Sweden.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · The European Journal of Public Health
Show more