How a Heat Wave Affects Glycemic Control

How a Heat Wave Affects Glycemic Control


Among patients with type 1 diabetes, glycemic control may worsen in the 2 weeks after a heat wave, according to research published online May 17 in Science of The Total Environment.


  • Researchers in Spain analyzed data from 2701 adults with type 1 diabetes who had been using intermittently scanned continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices during a 2022 heat wave (July 9-26) and 14 days after. Extreme heat claimed nearly 62,000 lives across Europe last summer.


  • Time in range (between 70 mg/dL and 180 mg/dL of interstitial glucose) decreased by 4%, from 60.8% during the heat wave to 54.8% after (P < .001).

  • Patients who scanned their CGM results the most during the heat wave (more than 13 scans per day) scanned less often after the weather broke (1.8 fewer scans per day) and experienced the biggest drop in time in range (−5.4%).

  • More patients met all time-in-range recommendations during the heat wave (10.6% vs 8.4%, P < .001).


“We hypothesized that people with diabetes, who are highly vulnerable, have more time for self-management as they spend more time indoors,” study author Jesús Moreno Fernández, MD, PhD, told Medscape Medical News. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, something similar was observed among people with diabetes.”


Moreno Fernández, with the department of endocrinology and nutrition at Ciudad Real General University Hospital in Spain, is the study’s lead author.


The CGM data were anonymized, so researchers could not examine how individual patient factors like sex, education, or treatment type may have influenced outcomes. Temperatures remained higher than usual even after the heat wave. Worsening glycemic control could be interpreted as a lag effect of prolonged heat exposure, the researchers note.


The authors had no conflict of interest disclosures.

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