A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that outdoor air temperature has a direct link to a pregnant woman’s risk of developing gestational diabetes. In the study, researchers noted that in a 30-day period prior to being screened for gestational diabetes, the prevalence of the blood sugar disorder was 4.6% among women exposed to extremely cold average temperatures (defined as 14°F or colder) and increased to 7.7% among those exposed to hot average temperatures (defined as 75°F or higher). The discrepancy may be attributed to emerging science about how humans make different kinds of fat, according to the study’s lead author, Dr. Gillian Booth. Exposure to colder temperatures “can improve sensitivity to insulin by turning on a protective type of fat called brown adipose tissue,” Dr. Booth notes. She concluded that for every 50°F increase in air temperature there is a 6% to 9% increased risk for developing gestational diabetes.
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