Cold weather could affect heart, respiratory problems in type 2 diabetes

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People with type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to cold weather which can increase the risk of heart and respiratory problems, researchers have suggested.
Maintaining a stable body temperature is harder for people with type 2 diabetes because impaired glucose metabolism can lead to metabolic, neural and circulatory disturbances, according to a research team from Finland.
Consequently, they say, this can cause health problems such as high blood pressure, artery stiffening and altered sensory responses.
In a large survey of data collected from 5,144 adults from Finland, a team of researchers compared the prevalence of cold-related symptoms with blood sugar levels.
Clinical measurements and health answers were then collected from the National FINRISK Study, while each individual provided information about their socioeconomic background, any cold symptoms they had experienced, medical history and whether they had suffered any cardiovascular disease (CVD) problems.
Body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and arterial hypertension (HTN) measurements were also provided, along with their blood sugar status which was determined from fasting blood glucose and oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT).
The participants were then divided into five categories, comprising those with type 2 diabetes, screening-detected type 2 diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, impaired fasting glucose and normal glucose metabolism.
The findings suggested those with type 2 diabetes reported more cold-related cardiac and respiratory symptoms. Researchers also found a link between chest pains and breathing issues with worsening glycemic status.
The team said the study shows there are different factors associated with physiological changes and diabetes, which can contribute to increased cold-related cardiorespiratory symptoms.
It has also been recommended that people with type 2 diabetes should be given relevant advice so they can take precautions against the cold weather in a bid to curtail any further health issues.
The research has been published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.