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The Effect of Weather on Headache
Prince, PB, Rapoport AM, Sheftell FD, et al.
Posted: September 2004
Objectives: To assess headache
patientsí beliefs about how strongly weather affects their
headaches; To objectively investigate the influence of multiple
weather variables on headache.
Design and Methods: Our sample consisted of
77 migraineurs seen in a headache clinic, who provided headache
calendars for a period ranging from 2 to 24 months. Our study
was divided into two phases. First, each patient was given a
questionnaire assessing their beliefs about how strongly (if so)
weather affected their headaches. Second, weather data were
collected from the National Weather Service, from three reporting
stations central to the residences of the study participants.
Analysis was performed on 43 variables to generate three
meteorological factors. Linear regression was used to
assess the relationship between headache and these three
factors. Factor 1 represents a function of absolute
temperature and humidity. Factor 2 represents a changing
weather pattern. Factor 3 represents barometric pressure.
Results: Of the 77 subjects in the study, 39
were found to be sensitive to weather, but 48 thought they were
sensitive to weather conditions. Thirty were sensitive to one
weather factor and 9 to two factors. Twenty-six were sensitive
to factor 1; 11 to factor 2; 10 to factor 3.
Conclusions: Our study supports the influence of
weather variables on headache. We showed that patients are
susceptible to multiple weather variables and that more patients
thought weather was a trigger than was the case.