Recent feature on our work from in the uOttawa Gazette:
Big thank you to the CFI for awarding us $4.6 million in funding support! It will allow us to build a new chamber and revitalize our calorimeter along with the purchase of state of the art technologies. It will make us the largest environmental physiology research unit dedicate to the study of human health in a changing climate. More in the link below:
Afin d’outiller les aînés du milieu, une conférence sur les bons réflexes à avoir lors de périodes de canicules sera offerte gratuitement par le Dr. Martin Poirier. Elle s’adressera aux diabétiques mais aussi aux aînés en général, de cette façon tout le monde sera prêt à faire face aux chaleurs de l’été !
L’activité se déroulera dans la salle d’activités du Centre Action Générations des Aînés, au 390 avenue de Buckingham, au sous-sol.
Au plaisir de vous voir en grand nombre!
Big thanks to Heather Jamieson at the Orleans Star for promoting our important work on the effects of heat waves on the elderly. Take a look by visiting the link below:
Venez au 4e salon du diabète qui aura lieu le 18 novembre 2018 à Gatineau, QC. Il y aura plusieurs exposants et conférences stimulantes!
Pour plus d'informations, veuillez contacter Martin Poirier au 819-639-4678 ou par courriel à email@example.com.
Aussi, si vous voulez devenir membre de l'association Les Diabétiques de l’Outaouais inc., veuillez visiter le site web suivant: http://www.diabete.qc.ca
Our work has received considerable media attention over the past few weeks, please see some of the highlights below:
CBC National news at 10 pm 2018/07/16
CBC News: World at Six for 2018/07/16 at 17:30 EDT
The Current July 25 CBC
Don’t sweat it! How exposure to heat affects your health and wellness, and how best to protect yourself:
Attention, chaud devant! Les effets sur la santé et le bien-être de l’exposition à la chaleur (et comment s’en protéger):
Excellent interview by CBC news on our work on heat vulnerability:
Radio (skip to 17:45):
Dr. Kenny was recently interviewed by CBC news on why heat waves kill. See the full article:
Given the recent heat wave in Ottawa, Global News visited HEPRU to discuss how Canadians can stay safe in these temperature extremes. Article, photos and video content from their visit can be found in the link below:
This week, undergraduate student Samah Saci shares her top tips for staying cool indoors during the warmer months.
Summer is right around the corner and for many of us, this means glowing suntans, family picnics, and an endless supply of chocolate ice cream. Unfortunately, it also means the potential for dehydration, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related issues. With the predicted rise in heat waves, it is important to initiate behaviours that minimize heat-related illness and mortality.
It may come as a surprise that heat-related illness can often occur indoors. During a heat wave, in the absence of adequate protective measures (e.g. air conditioning, window coverings such as blinds, etc.), buildings and homes are unable to effectively cool down, causing heat to accumulate for several days. The resulting effects can pose a great risk to vulnerable populations such as seniors and those with chronic health conditions, who possess compromised thermoregulatory function and are less likely to use a home air conditioner.
Here are some ways to keep cool this summer season. The following tips should offer a good start to a healthy and productive summer.
Dehydration can exacerbate the effects of high indoor temperatures. Rather than reaching for your favorite cola, take advantage of nature’s bounty. Toss your favourite fruits into a blender or make a refreshing pink lemonade. Keep a jug cooled in the refrigerator and treat yourself to unlimited refills throughout the day.
Conserve your energy
During a heat wave, lower the amount of heat your body is producing by engaging in more passive activities. Perhaps watch an episode (or two) of your favourite television series or pick up a good novel and let your mind do the wandering.
Less is more
The use of household appliances, like those used during cooking, tends to increase indoor temperatures. Try to prevent this by cooking less frequently or plan your meals around the outdoor barbecue. This will help keep the heat outdoors while keeping things cool inside. On cooler days, or at night when rooms are cooler, it may help to make a batch big enough to last a couple of days or to increase the amount of raw vegetables in your meals.
Move to a cooler space
Homes without air conditioning tend to be hottest in the upper floors. Try to spend most of the day in cooler parts of your home, such as the basement.
Take a cool bath or use cold towels
Taking a cool bath or shower will rapidly reduce body temperature and provide some respite from hot indoor temperatures. Placing cold, wet towels on your body will have a similar effect.
Since vulnerable individuals spend the majority of their time indoors, it is especially important to remain aware of the risks associated with overheated buildings. To help minimize the risk of heat-related illness this season, let’s unleash our minds’ creativity and discover enjoyable ways to keep cool.
Additional details on the detrimental effects of high indoor temperatures can be obtained free at the following link:
Kenny, G. P., Flouris, A. D., Yagouti, A., & Notley, S. R. (2018). Towards establishing evidence-based guidelines on maximum indoor temperatures during hot weather in temperate continental climates. Temperature, (just-accepted), 01-59.
This week marks the annual Experimental Biology meeting of the American Physiological Society and host societies. Dr. Glen Kenny and several HEPRU researchers attended this year's conference held in San Diego.
Post-doctoral fellow Dr. Greg McGarr, PhD students Martin Poirier and Robert Meade, and MSc student Andrew D'Souza presented their recent work, and enjoyed the opportunity to discover emerging research from scientists all around the globe.
Every living organism is in constant heat exchange with its environment and measuring the heat released from metabolism requires a very sophisticated system—the direct calorimeter. The direct air calorimeter located at the Human and Environmental Physiology Research Unit (HEPRU) at the University of Ottawa was originally developed by Jan Snellen during the 1970s at the Memorial University of Newfoundland.
A world-recognized authority in the area of human thermo-dynamics, Snellen developed one of the very few specialized whole-body calorimeters in the world at that time. This was based on a calorimeter employed by Snellen in studies conducted during his tenure in South Africa (1967–1970). It remained operational until his retirement in 1990, after which it was decommissioned. It was acquired by the director of HEPRU, Glen P. Kenny in 1998 and re-engineered and upgraded.
The main advantages of the Snellen air flow calorimeter are the fast response time, particularly for evaporative heat loss measurements, and the level of precision, particularly at high metabolic rates. With the simultaneous measurement of energy expenditure via indirect calorimetry, the Snellen calorimeter can be used to quantify the change in body heat content. Since the commissioning of the new Snellen air calorimeter, over 100 studies examining human thermoregulation have been conducted and continue to be conducted at our facilities. It is the last known operational human calorimeter in existence.
Additional details on the use of direct calorimetry and the Snellen calorimeter can be found here:
Kenny, G. P., Notley, S. R., & Gagnon, D. (2017). Direct calorimetry: a brief historical review of its use in the study of human metabolism and thermoregulation. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 117(9), 1765-1785.
See below: A gallery of photos showing the Original Snellen air flow calorimeter with J. W. Snellen looking into the partially opened chamber (image is reproduced with permission from the Paul Webb Collection, Wright University Special Collections and Archives) as well as the relocation of the Snellen calorimeter to the Human and Environmental Physiology Research Unit (HEPRU) at the University of Ottawa is provided below.
This week, Dr. Kenny shares his insights on how to safely manage type 2 diabetes while exercising or performing physical activity in hot environments.
When you have type 2 diabetes, physical activity is an important component of your treatment plan. However, performing physical activity, especially in the heat, can place you at an increased risk for heat-related injuries. In fact, performing any form of physical activity in warm conditions, no matter how light the intensity, dramatically increases an individual’s risk of heat-related injury or death, regardless of age or health. This is because physical activity augments metabolic heat production and therefore the rate at which heat must be dissipated to the environment to prevent dangerous increases in core temperature.
Normal aging causes marked reductions in the body’s capacity to dissipate heat resulting in a greater increase in core temperature during heat exposure at rest and during exercise. This maladaptive response occurs in adults as young as 40 years of age and is worse in individuals with type 2 diabetes. This means that older adults and individuals with type 2 diabetes are at an augmented risk of heat-related morbidity. Reduced physical fitness and the presence of metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurologic dysfunctions, which are often associated with diabetes, further exacerbate an already compromised ability to dissipate heat. Additionally, hyperglycemia and/or medication use can lead to greater levels of dehydration especially during exposure to heat at rest or during physical activity, which can reduce heat tolerance.
People with type 2 diabetes should take steps to stay cool while performing physical activity in warm weather. If physically activity is performed, it should be conducted in the early or later hours of the day when the temperatures are cooler and the sun is not at its peak. Limit the duration of physical activity to brief (<15 min) successive bouts interspersed with an adequate rest period in a shaded, well-ventilated area while rehydrating.
Kenny GP, Sigal RJ, McGinn R.
Body temperature regulation in diabetes.
Temperature (Austin). 2016 Jan 4;3(1):119-45. (Review)
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