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Climate Change Can Increase Diabetes Cases In US, Suggests New Study

21 March 2017, 7:59 am EDT By Steve Bowman Tech Times
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Scientists have been predicting that increasing global temperatures can affect public health in an adverse way. Why? As climate change is related to destructive weather events and the spread of viruses.

Researchers are now studying the effects of climate change on the rate of diabetes affliction, which is a prominent health issue. A study has been conducted to analyze the link between the increasing outdoor temperature levels and impaired glucose metabolism on a global scale.

Climate change pressurizes the fresh food supply, which may impact the diet of those suffering from diabetes.

The Research

During the study, the researchers examined the evaluated data of the cases of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. from 1996 to 2009. The data included the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and Virgin Islands. All the information was collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

The study also included analyzed information from National Centers for Environmental Information. This data pertained to the mean yearly temperature of every state.

Global information about the blood glucose levels during fasting and obesity was taken from the online database of the World Health Organization's Global Health Observatory.

The researchers hypothesized that all of their findings may be related to brown fat or brown adipose tissue. The main function of brown fat is to transform food into body heat.

"We calculated that a 1-degree Celsius rise in environmental temperature could account for more than 100,000 new diabetes cases per year in the USA alone,"  said Lisanne Blauw, the lead author of the study.

What Did The Study Reveal?

The study revealed that the rate of diabetic adult patients increased on an average by 0.314 per 1,000 for every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature.

The rate of patients who have been suffering from obesity has slightly decreased by 0.290 per 1,000 for every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature.

The researchers adjusted their data for the occurrence of obesity in each state. They found that each 1 degree Celsius temperature increase was related with 2.9 additional cases of diabetes per 10,000 people.

Globally elevated fasting glucose increased by the rate of 0.170 percent in every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature.

In 2015, diabetes affected 415 million people globally, and according to the new research, the rate of number of diabetic patients in the U.S. may increase by more than 100,000 per year.

This study has been published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Photo: Alisha Vargas | Flickr

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