Diabetes most often begins in March

A person’s likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes varies seasonally and is about 50 percent higher in March than in August, according to a 6-year study.

Led by Péter Doró, researchers at the University of Szeged in Hungary analyzed 26,695 cases of the disease that arose in one Hungarian county between 1999 and 2004. The scientists recorded diabetes onset as the date on which each patient first received drugs to reduce blood glucose.

Type 2 diabetes onset peaked in March, at about 10 cases per 10,000 county residents, and fell in subsequent months to a low of 6.8 cases per 10,000 residents in August. Onset rose after August, the researchers report in the January Diabetes Care.

A study published last year of U.S. veterans suggested that people with type 2 diabetes have the greatest difficulty maintaining healthy concentrations of blood glucose in March and April, Doró’s team notes. The researchers speculate that the preceding months of cold weather, inactivity, and overeating may contribute to the seasonal patterns.

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