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Soc Sci Med. 1986;23(6):549-54.

Influence of weather on osteoarthritics.


This exploratory study examined the effects of selected weather variables on pain and pain-related stress in osteoarthritic subjects. Urban and rural dwelling arthritics who perceived that weather made their symptoms worse and those who did not were surveyed. Some persons with osteoarthritis in urban Chicago were more weather sensitive than their rural counterparts in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Multiple regression analysis showed that precipitation affected degree of pain for urban subjects who identified weather as a pain-generating factor; barometric pressure, relative humidity and sunshine were significant factors influencing pain-related stress. Wind speed correlated with pain and pain-related stress; relative humidity and precipitation correlated with pain-related stress for urban subjects who did not perceive weather as a problem. Specific weather variables were not identified as affecting rural subjects' pain. However, temperature and barometric pressure affected degree of pain-related stress in rural subjects who perceived weather as a problem. Subtle differences between Chicago urban and Grand Forks rural climates are reflected in arthritic subjects' degree of pain and their perception of pain-related stress.

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