A seasonal variation of glucose homeostasis in humans has been reported in various geographic regions. In this study, we examined seasonal variations in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in patients with type 2 diabetes living in Korea. We analyzed 57,970 HbA1c values from 4,191 patients and the association of these values with ambient temperature for 3.5 yr. Overall, HbA1c exhibited its highest values from February to March and its lowest values from September to October (coefficient for cos t = -0.0743, P = 0.058) and the difference between the peak and nadir in a year was 0.16%-0.25%. A statistically significant seasonal variation was observed in the patients who were taking oral anti-diabetic drugs (OADs) without insulin treatment (coefficient for cos t = -0.0949, P < 0.05). The Spearman correlation coefficient between daily HbA1c values and the corresponding 3-month moving average ambient temperature was -0.2154 (95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.2711, -0.1580; P < 0.05). In conclusion, HbA1c values exhibited a seasonal variation in Korean patients with type 2 diabetes, with the highest values during the cold season, particularly in those who were treated with OADs, which should be taken into account in clinical practice for stable glucose control during the cold season.
Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Hemoglobin A, Glycosylated; Seasonal Variation.