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Weather preferences may have genetic link

PHOENIX — University of Arizona weather researchers said factors such as genetics play a role in human climate adaptability.

“If you put two people in an environment with the same stimulus, over time, they will still carry a genetic predisposition,” said Dr. Brian S. Drummond, a clinical assistant professor and medical director for the University of Arizona Medical Center-South Campus. “One person’s body may change to adapt, but it won’t change as much as someone of a different predisposition who does better in that climate.”

Just spending more time outside could help you get used to extreme hot or cold, but there are other factors such as a person’s ability to sweat, skin pigmentation, heart strength and even how close blood vessels are to the surface of his skin.

“Think about smoking. Some people can smoke for a lifetime and never develop cancer…while a person who smokes for five years does,” Drummond said.

If people spent more time outside they would adapt much faster, he said.

“But at the same time we end up shielding ourselves from any adaptation our body can do, because we’re in a sense modulating our own temperature,” Drummond said. “So we’re staying inside when it’s cold or inside when it’s hot.”