Diabetes and Rising Temperatures; Scientists Begin Looking Into Effects of Climate Change on Health [VIDEO]
A research team from the Netherlands has released the results of a study that points to the possible link between rising global temperatures and the uptick of cases of diabetes.
The scientists assessed the association between the prevalence of diabetes and the annual mean temperature for each US state from 1996-2009. The study, though, had to make use of data on blood sugar rates from the World Health Organization since the worldwide trend for type 2 diabetes was not available, Live Science reported.
In the United States, the investigating team found out that for every 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature, there was a significant increase in the prevalence of the disease at 4 percentage points or roughly 100,000 Americans, the CNN reported.
The researchers also found that more people were diagnosed with the disease during years with higher average temperature.They reiterated that these findings are observational and do not determine cause and effect. The results of their study merely highlight which fields of research can be pursued in the future especially on the effects of climate change on health in general.
Some endocrinologists do not necessarily agree with the results. They still contend that the leading cause of diabetes is still food intake. The only relation they see with climate change and the occurrence of the disease is that rising temperatures may have affected the food supply, thereby changing human diet.
The researchers explained that they have several limitations in this observational study. This study was only focused on the available data and they suggest that there might be other factors that can affect the results other than the change in climate.
The researchers also highlighted that the body mass index would have been part of the study but it lacked continuous data. The study was led by Dr. Lisanne Blauw, a researcher at the Leiden University Medical Center, and was published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes and Care.