Diabetes Incidence Rates Increase With Higher Outdoor Temperature in US

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Diabetes incidence rates in the US and glucose intolerance worldwide increased per 1°C increase in temperature.
Diabetes incidence rates in the US and glucose intolerance worldwide increased per 1°C increase in temperature.

The diabetes incidence rate in the United States as well as the prevalence of glucose intolerance worldwide increase with higher outdoor temperature, according to a study published by BMJ Diabetes Research & Care.

Lisanne L Blauw, BSc, from Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands, and colleagues collected data on diabetes incidence in the United States between  1996 and 2009 via the NationalDiabetes Surveillance System of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Data on the mean annual temperature per state were collected through the National Centers for Environmental Information. 

The authors conducted a weighted meta-regression analysis to estimate the association between mean annual temperatures (°C) and age-adjusted diabetes incidence rates. The results were collected in a meta-analysis.

Data on country-wise prevalence rates of raised fasting blood glucose and obesity were obtained through the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health Observatory online data repository system. 

The prevalence of raised fasting blood glucose is defined as the percentage of the population with fasting blood glucose >7.0 mmol/L or on medication for raised blood glucose. A meta-regression was performed to assess the association between mean annual temperature and the prevalence of glucose intolerance.

On average, age-adjusted diabetes incidence increased with 0.314 per 1000 for each 1°C increase in temperature. The worldwide aggregated age-adjusted and sex-adjusted prevalence of raised fasting blood glucose levels and obesity were 9.65% and 19.51%, respectively.

“In conclusion, diabetes incidence rate in the USA and prevalence of glucose intolerance worldwide increase with higher outdoor temperature,” the authors said.

“On the basis of our results, a 1°C rise in environmental temperature would account for over 100,000 new diabetes cases per year in the USA alone, given a population of nearly 322 million people in 2015.” 

Reference

  1. Blauw LL, Aziz NA, Tannemaat MR, et al. Diabetes incidence and glucose intolerance prevalence increase with higher outdoor temperature [published online March 21, 2017]  BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2016-000317 
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