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Global Warming Blamed for Increasing Incidence of Type-2 Diabetes

Mar 23, 2017 12:43 PM EDT
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Global warming played a role in the increasing incidence of type-2 diabetes all around the world.
(Photo : Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

A new study from the Netherlands revealed that global warming played a role in the increasing incidence of type-2 diabetes all around the world.

The study, published in the BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, found a link between the rising temperatures and increasing number of people being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.

"When it gets warmer, there is higher incidence of diabetes," said Lisanne Blauw, a PhD candidate Einthoven Laboratory in Netherlands and co-author of the study, in a report from The Huffington Post. "It's important to realize global warming has further effects on our health, not only on the climate."

For the study, the researchers compared the annual average temperature across the U.S. from 1996 to 2009 with self-reported cases of type-2 diabetes taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database.

The researchers found that an increase of one degree Celsius in the temperature could account for more than 100,000 new cases diabetes in the U.S. annually. The researchers developed three hypotheses to explain the link between warming climate and increasing trend of diabetes.

The first hypothesis involve the so-called brown adipose tissue, the fat cells that burn energy and produce heat. The researchers noted that these brown fats become active during cold climate to prevent the body temperature from dropping dramatically. However, warmer temperatures cause the brown fat to be less active, leading to insulin resistance and diabetes.

It is also possible that the warmer temperature is forcing people to move and exercise less. Change in their diets due to the higher temperature could also play a part in the connection between warmer temperature and high prevalence of type-2 diabetes.

Despite the link the researchers found, they noted that the study cannot prove a causal relationship between warmer temperatures and increased risk of diabetes. Due to this, the researchers are planning to conduct another study to smaller populations and develop a way activate the brown fat.

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