Introduction: It has been suggested that the lack of exposure to low ambient temperatures may be a contributor to the development of obesity. The aim of this study was to study possible associations between climate and the risk for obesity in the Spanish population using an ecological focus.
Methods: The Di@bet.es Study is a national epidemiological study designed to determine the prevalence of diabetes, obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors in Spain. The overall sample comprised 5061 persons in 100 clusters (health centres or their equivalents). The participation was 57%, and data were gathered the following: clinical and demographic characteristics and lifestyle survey, physical examination and oral-glucose tolerance test. Basic climate data collected were mean annual temperature (°C), mean annual precipitation (mm), mean relative humidity (%), mean annual number of hours of sunshine (hours), and altitude (metres) for each study site according to data from the Spanish National Meteorology Agency (19712000).
Results: The prevalence of obesity in the different geographical areas divided according to mean annual temperature quartiles were 26.9% in quartile 1 (mean annual temperature 10.414.5°), 30.5% in quartile 2 (mean annual temperature 14.515.5°), 32% in quartile 3 (mean annual temperature 15.517.8°), and 33.6% in quartile 4 (mean annual temperature 17.821.3°) (P=0.003). Logistic regression models adjusted for multiple sociodemographic variables (age, gender, population type, educational level, work status, marital status) and lifestyle (physical activity, Mediterranean diet score, smoking), showed that, as compared with quartile 1, the odd ratios for obesity were 1.22 (1.021.45) in quartile 2, 1.34 (1.121.61) in quartile 3, and 1.37 (1.131.65) in quartile 4 (P=0.004 for difference, P<0.001 for trend).
Conclusion: Our study reports an association between ambient temperature and the risk of obesity in the Spanish population. Further research is needed to confirm our findings and to expand knowledge in this field.
03 - 07 May 2014
European Society of Endocrinology