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Pain in ankylosing spondylitis- the impact of the weather

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The majority of patients suffering from rheumatic diseases relate their symptoms to the weather. So far, patients with ankylosing spondylitis have not been evaluted with respect to weather-sensitivity. In the present study the impact of weather conditions on pain was investigated in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. A group of 158 patients (125 male, 33 female, aged 53 +/- 5 yrs) suffering from ankylosing spondylitis for 22 +/- 8 yrs, who presented for a spa treatment at the Gasteiner Heilstollen, were interviewed by the examining physician about their individual experiences as to the influence of certain weather conditions on pain intensity: which weather conditions are the worst? Seventy-three percent of the patients claimed that their symptoms are influenced by the weather. Forty-one patients suffer most before a change to cold and humid (25 pat.) or to humid weather (16 pat.). Forty patients feel the worst pain during cold and humid (26 pat.) or during humid (14 pat.) weather. All changes of the weather (changes to both warm as well as cold) cause a deterioration in 23 patients. Eleven patients have most severe pain before (6 pat.) or during (5 pat.) cold weather. One patient claimed warm and dry weather aggravate his symptoms. The data show that in ankylosing spondylitis the share of weather-sensitive patients is similar to other rheumatic diseases. The results confirm the clinical impact of the issue.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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