Perceived Pain and Weather Changes in Rheumatic Patients

Published: August 28, 2012
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This review study showed that 70% of those with Rheumatic Diseases in general, and even higher in those with Fibromyalgia, felt that weather changes affect their symptoms. So you're not alone. Here's the study summary:

Study Summary

[Article in Portuguese]
Acta Reumatol Port. 2007 Oct-Dec;32(4):351-61.

Miranda LC, Parente M, Silva C, Clemente-Coelho P, Santos H, Cortes S, Medeiros D, Ribeiro JS, Barcelos F, Sousa M, Miguel C, Figueiredo R, Mediavilla M, Simoes E, Silva M, Patto JV, Madeira H, Ferreira J, Micaelo M, Leitao R, Las V, Faustino A, Teixeira A

Instituto Portugues de Reumatologia

PMID: 18159202

INTRODUCTION: Rheumatic patients with chronic pain describe in a vivid way the influence of climate on pain and disease activity. Several studies seem to confirm this association.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate and compare in a population of rheumatic patients the perceived influence of weather changes on pain and disease activity.

METHODS: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study. For three weeks an assisted self-reported questionnaire with nine dimensions and a VAS pain scale was performed on consecutive out-patients in our clinic.

RESULTS: 955 patients (787 female, 168 male, mean age 57.9 years) with several rheumatologic diagnosis were evaluated. Overall 70% of the patients believed that the weather influenced their disease and 40% believed that the influence was high. Morning stiffness was influenced in 54% high influenced in 34%. Autumn and Winter were the most influential periods as well as humidity 67% and low temperatures 59%.

CONCLUSION: In our study, as well as in literature, we found that a high percentage of patients (70%) perceived that weather conditions influenced their pain and disease. Fibromyalgia patients seemed to be strongly influenced by weather changes. Our study confirms that patient's perception on the influence of climate on pain and, therefore, their disease is an important clinical factor and it should be considered when evaluating rheumatic patients.

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