Claim: Global warming to increase number of diabetics

Wow… no honest researcher would make this claim.

Past the ridiculous claim that average global temperature going from, say, 58F to 59.8F will increase the incidence of diabetes, the bulk of this lame study occurred during the pause. What warming happened then? Any actual increase in diabetes incidence could easily be attributed to changes in detection and diagnoses.

The media release is below. The ridiculous study is here.


Growing global temperatures could be contributing to rising diabetic numbers
1°C rise in environmental temperature could account for more than 100,000 new diabetes cases per year in the USA alone


Rising temperatures across the world may be playing a part in the growing numbers of people developing diabetes, suggests research published online in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Worldwide, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing rapidly. In 2015, 415 million adults globally had the condition and it is expected that prevalence will rise by almost 55% – up to 642 million cases by 2040.

In the human body, the function of brown adipose tissue (BAT) is to transfer energy from food into heat and previous studies have shown that exposure to cold stimulates BAT, thus leading to modest weight loss and improved insulin action and sensitivity – making a person less likely to develop diabetes.

A team of Dutch researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center led by Professor Patrick Rensen, set out to investigate if global increases in temperature were contributing to the current type 2 diabetes growth by negatively impacting on glucose metabolism via a reduction in BAT activity.

The intention was to assess the association of outdoor temperature with diabetes incidence and prevalence of glucose intolerance, on a countrywide and global scale.

The researchers used data on diabetes incidence amongst adults in 50 states of the USA and three territories (Guam, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands) for the years 1996 to 2009 from the National Diabetes Surveillance System of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Data was also analysed from the World Health Organization’s Global Health Observatory online data repository system on country-wise prevalence rates of raised fasting blood glucose and obesity in 190 countries.

In addition, country-wise average annual temperature data was obtained via the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK.

The researchers found that on average, per 1°C increase in temperature, age-adjusted diabetes incidence increased by 0.314 per 1,000.

Similarly, the worldwide prevalence of glucose intolerance increased by 0.17% per 1°C rise in temperature. These associations were the same after obesity was taken into account.

Such findings indicated that the diabetes incidence rate in the USA and prevalence of glucose intolerance worldwide did increase with higher outdoor temperature.

Using their findings, the authors calculated that a 1°C rise in environmental temperature could account for more than 100,000 new diabetes cases per year in the USA alone, given a population of nearly 322 million people in 2015.

This was an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, but the authors analysed longitudinal state-level data for each state separately before pooling the results.

They also found that once they had taken into account important intercountry differences, such as age, sex, income and obesity, this did not materially change the results on the global level.

The study was unable to evaluate the directness of an association between body mass index (BMI) and diabetes incidence or prevalence in its models because continuous data on BMI were not available.

The authors acknowledged that once they adjusted the results to take into account obesity prevalence – which only slightly reduced the association between outdoor temperature and diabetes – other studies could evaluate further any impact that BMI might have on their findings.

The authors conclude: “These findings emphasise the importance of future research into the effects of environmental temperature on glucose metabolism and the onset of diabetes, especially in view of the global rise in temperatures with a new record set for the warmest winter in the USA last year.”


15 thoughts on “Claim: Global warming to increase number of diabetics”

  1. These scientists seems not to know “Correlation is not Casuation”. Maybe they will find out, that the stork bring the babies. Because the of stork population declines as the birth rate declines.

  2. Gamecock is absolutely correct. Diabetes is a disease characterized by a complete lack of insulin with resultant hyperglycemia (elevated blood glucose levels). So called Type II diabetes is characterized by higher than normal levels of insulin but a modestly elevated blood glucose level said to be due to relatively “ineffective” insulin. To call both conditions by the same name is like equating the common cold or flu with meningococcal meningitis because both cause a fever. A more accurate name for Type II diabetes would be idiopathic hyperglycemia. One postulated cause is a decline in cell surface receptors for insulin. True diabetes is associated with severe secondary disorders that are rarely (and perhaps only coincidentally) seen with so called Type II.
    The hysteria over fructose is pure nonsense. Standard texts of biochemical physiology describe how much of the fructose ingested is converted into glucose during transit through the intestinal cells following absorption. Almost all of the rest is converted to glucose on the first pass through the liver. The result is that the systemic circulation contains little or no fructose. I quoted a couple of sources for this in an article posted on this website a few years ago. I don’t know whether it is possible to access it now.

  3. “the ‘recent’ exposure of fructose in cold drinks to be the probably cause of the type 2 diabetes endemic in first world countries.”

    The cause of diabetes is unknown, not withstanding your absurd claim.

  4. “Half the harm that is done in the world is due to people who want to feel important. They do not mean to harm– or the harm does not interest them or they do not see it, or they justify it in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” T.S. Elliot

  5. How “without merit” can a study be. This study is complete nonsense. If this study is to be believed, before the invention of air conditioning, everyone would have suffered from diabetes.

    To put it another way; we need to build more power plants to power our air conditioning so we can save lives.

    This study is just another reason to stop grants for research where silly ideas are investigated to keep the money flowing.

  6. If higher temperatures caused more diabetes, then all the equatorial populations should be diabetic. However, usually the pseudo-scientific studies claim to show how healthy indigenous people in these countries are compared to Americans.

    These studies are written for people who won’t actually read the junk science they promote.

  7. “The authors conclude: These findings emphasise the importance of future research”

    … (they found nothing)

  8. The surest way to increase the incidence of diabetes or any other disorder that is defined by numerical measurement is to continually change the definition by altering the boundaries of the “acceptable” numbers. This method has been used with great success by those promoting ever more research and treatment for elevated cholesterol and “Type II” diabetes. Both are mythical disorders. But the expansion of the numbers of those diagnosed with these “diseases” has greatly benefited those in the medical and pharmaceutical industries as well as those whose business is “research”. The same can be true for so called diseases that are defined by subjective criteria. The spike in the incidence of autism is a recent example. So one should always be extremely skeptical of these modern day “epidemics”. The attempts to connect these phony disease spikes with something else going on in society or the world at large is especially laughable: literally, nonsense on stilts.

  9. Of course this is political, shilling for the power mongers, but the greatest threat to human health is the second law of thermodynamics, something these “researchers” clearly ignore hoping to “prove” some zeitgeist is the cause and emerge a “hero”.

  10. Yes a very difficult study and easily dismissed though it does have some ‘gut’ reactions I can see. Especially since the easily observed fact that people tend to drink more in hot weather and the ‘recent’ exposure of fructose in cold drinks to be the probably cause of the type 2 diabetes endemic in first world countries.
    Anyway it’s fairly easy to get rid of diabetes. I’ve done it a few times.

  11. Researchers will attempt to prove anything if it keeps their research dollars flowing in.

    I have been very concerned about the threat the AGW (human-caused catastrophic
    global warming) “scientific consensus” poses for our nation’s socioeconomic health. As a response to this potential threat I have written a major paper titled:

    History and Ignorance of “Sky Is Falling” Theories with Special Emphasis on Anthropogenic Global Warming

    Here is a link to the paper. If you read it and believe it has value, please pass the link on to others.

  12. How effing silly. Using their standard, anything that’s increased in the same time frame correlates with temperature increase! Talk about complete wastes of time and $$ – geesh!

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