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 patients’ 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.
Source: Acta Reumatologica Portuguesa. 2007 Oct-Dec;32(4):351-61. PMID: 18159202, by 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.