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Cold Weather Increases A1Cs

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#1
amccrazgrl

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http://www.diabetes....MissingEDIT.xml

"Do your A1C levels rise every winter? You're not alone.

A team of researchers working in Veterans Health Administration centers across the country has found a link between cold weather and higher A1C levels. (A1C tests provide a snapshot of blood glucose control over 3 months.) For 2 years, the group studied 272, 722 veterans with diabetes. The AlC levels of those in the study group were averaged and analyzed by climate and season.

After considering other factors that could affect A1C levels, such as age, sex, race, and severity of diabetes, the researchers found an independent seasonal pattern linked to colder temperatures. In all climates, A1C levels peaked from February through April; they hit their lowest points in August through September. The average increase in A1C levels from summer to winter was 0.22 percentage points.

The people who experienced the most fluctuation in terms of their AlC levels were those who lived in what the researchers called "intermediate" climates-places where winter temperatures ranged from 32°F to 40°F.

Interestingly, people who lived in the coldest areas-places where winter temperatures ranged from 5°F to 32°F-experienced a little less fluctuation in terms of their A1C levels. The researchers don't know why this is, but they speculate that perhaps people with diabetes who live in very cold regions don't go outside as much in the winter. By staying inside, they would have less exposure to the effects of the cold.

The authors still aren't sure how cold triggers a rise of A1C levels, but they suspect it may be the same unknown physical response to cold that also causes blood pressure and heart rate to rise. Previous studies have shown that cardiovascular events and strokes follow a similar seasonal pattern. These patterns could influence how diabetes control is maintained. More study is needed, the authors say.

This study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in March 2005.

© 2005 Diabetes Forecast. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved "
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#2
duck

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Off the top of my head, I would say this is bunk. But I could be swayed. If it is true, I wonder if the participants gained any weight over the colder months (you know how people say we gain fat when it is cold as "insulation"), and if that has any correlation?
Look what you've done to this rock-n-roll clown!

#3
JediSkipdogg

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I would think it would have something to do with maybe people are less active in the winter. They don't do yard work and exercise as much which generally cause you to run lower for a short period. That on average could make a difference. I think the cold weather part though is bogus.
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#4
liz32

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The cold weather might be it. I had a friend who was an exchange student here (nova scotia) from Australia. She was fine until winter. She ate the same as always was very athletic and still active in the winter. Despite all that she gained 20 pounds even though nothing in here life had changed except for being in a colder climate. If lack of sun light can cause depression in winter why not have the cold effect your A1C? Seems reasonable.

#5
Cielo

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Speaking of A1Cs....guess what Adam's was!!!! He just went on Wednesday to his Dr. It was 5.9! His doctor said he'd never met anyone who eats the same thing day in and day out. GOOD JOB BABE
"IN MY SENTENCES I GO WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE." :stupido2:
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#6
am1977

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WOW! :thumbsup: That's so good- Way to go! :biggrin:
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Erase myself
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Put to rest
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So let mercy come
And wash away
What I’ve done

I’ve faced myself
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Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

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#7
jen_slc

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This is an interesting suggestion. I read the article to gauge the 'bunk' factor, but typically you don't get published in the American Journal of Epi with bunk data.

It does appear that there are seasonal variations in A1c levels regardless of sex, race/ethnicity, age, diabetes severity and holiday food binging, but the researchers did not control for BMI, weight gain/loss or physical activity, so it's very possible these factors could be partially responsible. Then again, several studies studying risk factors for cardiovascular events have shown seasonal variation independent of all of these extraneous factors.

It should also be noted that this study was conducted among primarily older, male, T2 diabetic patients, only some of whom used insulin, so nobody knows whether this seasonal association can be extended to younger, female or T1 diabetics.

I admit, the cold weather factor is a bit weird biologically at first :hmmmm2: , but seeing as how numerous physiologic processes vary seasonally (epinephrine, cortisol, glucose, insulin, lipids, clotting factors, heart rate, blood pressure) in both healthy and chronic patients, it seems plausible.

Btw, the main point of this study was to determine if quality of care studies (measured by comparing A1c levels) are biased. If one study uses A1c measurements from March and another from September, both could make erroneous conclusions regarding a diabetes treatment or intervention. And nobody wants that!

#8
duck

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Btw, the main point of this study was to determine if quality of care studies (measured by comparing A1c levels) are biased. If one study uses A1c measurements from March and another from September, both could make erroneous conclusions regarding a diabetes treatment or intervention. And nobody wants that!


Good point...
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#9
pcwest

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My A1c's normally run around 6.0 to 6.4, and my daily blood glucose checks are usually around 90-100. I walk between 6 and 8 miles a day and on a normal day, a 1 mile walk will bring my blood sugar down as much as 20 points.

However, as soon as the really cold weather got here (lower SC) and temps were at freezing and below, my morning blood sugars shot up to as much as 160 and despite 2 and 3 mile walks, I cannot get mid-day and afternoon blood sugars to drop below 130. As soon as the days warm back up into the 50's, the blood sugar levels drop.

I came to this site with this post because I wondered if anyone else was experiencing similar results and apparently they are, despite the scoffing of one person for whom this phenomenon does not appear.

It is comforting to know that this is an experience that others are seeing, and not some unrelated and downward trend with no explanation.

I get blank stares at the doctor's office when I bring this up, but I find that fellow diabetics have a much surer grasp of the particulars than most health care providers who are not diabetics themselves.

#10
Patriots62

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I am originally from Maine but live and work in Europe. I live in central highlands of Germany where we do get a fairly cold winter with enough snow but yet have very hot seasonal summers; basically a good four seasons. I was always the one that could stand out side for hours with minimal clothing in the winter and never get cold and my wife ALWAYS used me as her personal foot warmer. She often called me her "personal nuclear power plant". However, since developing T2, I don't handle the cold as well and my body is not as warm as it used to be. I too see a different avg by as much as 10% in the winter time. I have tracked and averaged my BG readings for the last year (diagnosed in winter so now in my second winter). This CAN be associated with the climate change OR perhaps to other factors that some have mentioned here; physical activity, biological season clock, availability of season foods affecting our diets, etc.

Bottom line for me is this is plausible and I lean towards it. But I agree that more concise study with this focus needs to be done. In the meantime, my wife wants to replace my core rods as her feet are cold and it ain't working.....:)
Doug

Diagnosed 22/12/09:eek:
A1c then 12.2:eek:
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#11
NoraWI

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I find quite the opposite. My insulin needs go down dramatically when cold weather begins... and Wisconsin is cold! I slowly adjust my basal downward from the summer dose of 19 daily units to the cold-weather dose of 15 units each day. That's a substantial difference. Could be my activity level rises for the winter as I live on a farm and begin feeding hay to the animals every November. In summer they are on pasture, which does not involve much physical effort on my part. However, due to the cold and inclement weather during the winter, I also spend more time inside reading, computing, just puttering around. One of those YMMV things, I guess. Just my 2 cents' worth...
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#12
TommyC1

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The holiday season starting with halloween at the end of October and ending at New Years day is when I see an elevated A1c.
I'm quite certain it's the overabundance of sweets rather than anything else that is responsible.

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#13
raffi

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I was thinking the same things about eating patters. It would be interesting to see if the same patter held true in the southern hemisphere.

#14
jwags

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I think most of us tend to eat more comfort food and get less exercise in the winter, cold months. This year I decided that wasn't going to happen. I bundle up every day and walk 4 miles. I bought special snow trekking hiking boots that keep my feet warm, bought a coat good down to -40 and wear a warm pair of snow board mittens. I find my bgs except for the Christmas cookies during the holidays have been great. But agree the fall and winter holidays and parties make our management techniques more difficult.
HbA1c 5.3 3/11 , HbA1c 5/12 6.1
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#15
foxl

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THANK YOU for bumping this!!! It totally describes my situation!!!

And for me it is independent of diet. I work VERY HARD in winter, to control things.
Linda


[B]Jan A1c 6.3/B]
Jul 09 ... C-pep 1.3, GAD-65 > 30
Mar 10 C-pep 2.8 (20 g carb); GAD 3.2
dx 02/09 in DKA


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Eating 20 - 45 g carb per day ovo-lacto-vegetarian
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