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Is there a link between climate change and diabetes?

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Scientists have long warned that rising global temperatures may impact public health in a devastating way because climate change is associated with deadly weather events, the spread of infectious diseases and even food shortages.

Axar.az reports that now, researchers are looking at whether climate change might be linked to another public health concern: Type 2 diabetes.

Between 1996 and 2009, as outdoor temperatures rose across the United States, so did the prevalence of diabetes, according to a study published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care on Monday.

"We were surprised though by the magnitude of the effect size," said Lisanne Blauw, a researcher at Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands and lead author of the study.

"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," she said. "Future research into the effects of global warming on our health status is therefore of great importance."

However, this observational study simply reveals an association between climate and diabetes, not a causation. Among the factors known to cause Type 2 diabetes are being overweight or obese and having a family history of the disease.

"I think calorie consumption and weight are probably the biggest by a country mile," said Dr. Adrian Vella, an endocrinologist who has researched Type 2 diabetes at the Mayo Clinic. He was not involved in the new study.

"I think the general message always should be that association studies do not actually imply causation," he said of linking climate change and diabetes.

Date
2017.03.21 / 21:14
Author
Axar.az
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