Weather Differentially Affects Women With Fibromyalgia

Weather Differentially Affects Women With Fibromyalgia
Weather Differentially Affects Women With Fibromyalgia

(HealthDay News) – Female patients with fibromyalgia appear to be differentially sensitive to certain weather conditions rather than subject to a uniform influence of weather on daily pain and fatigue, according to a study published online June 4 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Ercolie R. Bossema, PhD, from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and colleagues questioned 333 female patients with fibromyalgia (mean age 47 years; mean time since diagnosis, 3.5 years) regarding pain and fatigue on 28 consecutive days. Data from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute were used to measure daily weather conditions.

The researchers found that in five (10%) of 50 analyses, weather variables showed a significant but small effect on either pain or fatigue. Significant, small differences between patients were observed in the random effects of the weather variables in 10 analyses (20%), suggesting that symptoms of patients were – to a small extent – differentially affected by some weather conditions. High pain, for instance, might be related with either low or high atmospheric pressure. Neither demographic, functional, or mental patient characteristics nor season or weather variation during the assessment period explained these individual differences.

"There is more evidence against than in support of a uniform influence of weather on daily pain and fatigue in female patients with fibromyalgia," the authors write. "While individuals appear to be differentially sensitive to certain weather conditions, there is no indication that specific patient characteristics play a role in weather sensitivity."

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