Does weather modify headaches? An empirical evaluation of bio-weather categorization

Journal Article

By: A Schweickhardt; Harald Walach; Bucher, K
Publication Name: Schmerz
Year: 2002

BACKGROUND: Headache patients frequently refer to the weather as a triggering factor for their headaches. Apart from a literature review, we tested empirically the generally used classification of weather epochs into a so called bio-weather categorization. METHOD: Headache diary data (frequency, duration, intensity) of 98 patients in a headache trial were correlated with the concurrent bio-weather classification. RESULTS: Correlations were small and significant only for the summer-half of the year (contingency coefficients between 0.04 and 0.06). The classification of certain types of weather as headache prone as used in the current bio-weather classification could only partly be verified. CONCLUSION: There is a clear but small correlation between headache and weather. More, and more fine-grained, studies are warranted, especially for identifying those patients at risk for weather prone headaches. Clinically more important is the weather as a source of causal attributions.

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