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Researchers: Gestational Diabetes Risk Rises with Temperature

Long-range study shows significant rise in incidence associated with rises in temperature.

Researchers in Toronto have discovered a correlation between higher temperatures and the incidence of gestational diabetes. As the temperature rises, so does the risk, researchers said.

After adjusting for influential risk factors, researchers found that a temperature an average rise of 10 degrees Celsius over a 30 day period was associated with a 6 to 9 percent rise in the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus.

Researchers found that gestational diabetes afflicted 4.6 percent of women who were exposed to average outdoor temperatures of -10 degrees C, while the incidence increased to 7.7 percent among women who were exposed to temperatures of 24 degrees C. Each increase of 10 degrees corresponded with a 1.06 times higher chance of contracting gestational diabetes.

Researchers say they controlled for factors like maternal age, parity, neighborhood income, world region, and year.

The research was based on data from databases located at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Science. The figures were based on cases from the greater Toronto area who gave birth between 2002 and 2014. The researchers tracked data from 555,911 births and 396,828 women.

Researchers suggested that the data could become more important in years to come as climate change brings higher temperatures to many parts of the world.