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Does the air temperature affect the likelihood of gestational diabetes?
In gestational diabetes (also known as gestational diabetes), the blood sugar level of those affected is increased above normal. Canadian researchers have now found a direct link between the risk of gestational diabetes and outside air temperatures.
Scientists at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences found in an investigation that there appears to be a direct link between gestational diabetes and outside air temperatures. The doctors published the results of their study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Researchers study almost 400,000 women for their study
For their investigation, the experts checked the records of nearly 400,000 pregnant women in the Toronto area. All of these participants gave birth to a child between 2002 and 2014.
Effects of gestational diabetes
This is the first population study to examine the relationship between air temperature and gestational diabetes risk, explains the author Dr. Gillian Booth. This form of diabetes can occur during pregnancy and, if left untreated, result in stillbirth. The disease also increases the risk of complications during childbirth and gives mothers and babies an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
Successful management of gestational diabetes is feasible
The management of gestational diabetes is difficult, but still doable, say the doctors. To manage this state exactly, it needs good planning. This includes, for example, careful preparation of snacks and meals, checking blood glucose four times a day, a weekly ultrasound examination and regular medical appointments to prevent potential complications.
Newborn children can also suffer from the effects of gestational diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes are not alone affected by the disease. Their children can also suffer from the disease and therefore need special nutrition, the scientists say. The whole process is of course very tiring and difficult to manage, especially for the mother. Researchers have now found that there seems to be an easy new way to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
How does cold affect brown fat in the human body?
The team of experts used the wide fluctuations in temperatures in Canada between the seasons to conduct a natural experiment. This was based on how the activity of so-called brown fat is influenced by cold in order to generate heat and support the metabolism, the scientists say. When the thermostats were lowered from 24 ° C to 19 ° C during the study, nuclear PET scans showed significant improvements in insulin sensitivity among participants. This suggests that even a small increase in air temperature could cause many women to develop gestational diabetes.
Physicians compared a database of pregnancies with historical weather data
For its investigation, the team checked a pregnancy database and a record of historical weather data. The experts calculated a 30-day average of high and low air temperatures. The women were later asked to do a glucose test.
What is the role of insulin?
When women are in their second trimester of pregnancy, they become less sensitive to the hormone insulin, the experts explain. The sensitivity then increases again in the third trimester. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and the hormone enables the human body to properly process sugar and carbohydrates in food, the scientists explain.
10 degrees warmer air temperature increases the risk of gestational diabetes by up to 9 percent
After adjusting the results for age, number of pregnancies, body mass index and socio-economic factors, it became clear that any increase in the average air temperature by 10 degrees Celsius is associated with a six to nine percent greater chance of gestational diabetes, the authors say.
15 million women suffer from gestational diabetes every year
An estimated 15 million pregnant women worldwide are affected by gestational diabetes each year. If the association between air temperature and the risk of gestational diabetes is real, lowering the thermostats in our homes could reduce the likelihood of gestational diabetes, the authors explain
Global warming could lead to massively increased cases of gestational diabetes
Climate change models up to 2050 indicate an increase in surface temperatures of one to two degrees Celsius. Even a small increase in air temperature could actually mean that many more women will develop gestational diabetes. (as)