09:55am Sunday 22 October 2017

Patients with diabetes especially should beat the heat

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz — Hot weather and diabetes can make for a potentially dangerous combination, according to a Mayo Clinic presentation at the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego June 19-22.

Adrienne Nassar, M.D., and Curtiss Cook, M.D., along with colleagues from Mayo Clinic, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the Phoenix branch of the National Weather Service, developed a survey that revealed that people with diabetes living in Arizona have considerable gaps in their “heat awareness.”

Sweating is an important means of cooling the body in hot weather, and past research has shown that the ability to sweat in the heat can be impaired in some patients with diabetes. Other studies have shown that during hot weather diabetes patients have an increased number of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths. Furthermore, heat can damage diabetes equipment, such as glucose monitoring devices and glucose monitoring strips, as well as medications, rendering them ineffective.

The survey, which took place at a Phoenix diabetes clinic, analyzed results from 152 responders whose mean age was 64 years and diabetes duration 15 years. Many patients interviewed would often wait until temperatures were quite high (in some cases above 101�F) before taking measures to protect themselves from the heat. In addition, more than a third of patients simply left medications or supplies at home rather than risk exposing them to heat, and thus would not have the means to manage their diabetes while away.

Only about 40 percent of patients reported receiving information about the effect of heat on oral medications, glucose monitors and glucose monitoring strips. One in five patients did not know at what temperature to begin protecting their medications, diabetes equipment and supplies. The survey also revealed poor understanding of the heat index, which is a measure of how hot it really feels when humidity is added to the actual temperature.

The study authors agree that patients with diabetes can benefit from more education about the risks related to hot weather – especially in places like Arizona. “We found that people living with diabetes in hot climates need to be more aware of how heat affects management of their disease,” said Dr. Nassar, third-year medical resident at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Increased public awareness of this important topic is needed, and diabetes education programs should include information about the heat, especially in the Southwest, the authors conclude.

All results of the study will be published in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.

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To request an appointment at Mayo Clinic, please call 480-422-1490 for the Arizona campus, 904-494-6484 for the Florida campus, or 507-216-4573 for the Minnesota campus.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of “the needs of the patient come first.” More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers, and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has campuses in Rochester, Minn; Jacksonville, Fla; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota., western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.

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About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of “the needs of the patient come first.” More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers, and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has campuses in Rochester, Minn; Jacksonville, Fla; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota., western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.


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