Background Patients with fibromyalgia often report that the weather aggravates their symptoms, but research so far did not conclusively demonstrate such a relation.
Objectives To examine the association between weather conditions and daily symptoms of pain and fatigue in female patients with fibromyalgia, and to identify patient characteristics explaining individual differences in these associations.
Methods Female patients with fibromyalgia (n=333, mean age 47.0 years, mean time since diagnosis 3.5 years) completed diaries, including questions on immediate pain and fatigue during 28 consecutive days. The daily weather conditions that were obtained from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) in “De Bilt'', the Netherlands, included air temperature, sunshine duration, rainfall, atmospheric pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed. Multilevel regression analysis was applied. Considering that six weather conditions were included, the p-value was set to 0.008.
Results Few significant, but small associations were found between weather conditions and symptoms of pain and fatigue. Pain was associated with an increase in relative humidity on the previous day (p=0.004) and with rain on the same day (p=0.003); fatigue was associated with a higher air temperature on the previous day (p=0.001).Patients differed from each other with respect to associations of weather conditions with pain and fatigue (see Figure). However, no demographic, functional or mental patient characteristic was found to explain these differences in weather sensitivity.
Conclusions This study provides few indications for at best a small overall influence of weather conditions on daily pain and fatigue in female patients with fibromyalgia. Associations between weather and symptoms differ between patients, but it is unclear which patient characteristics play a role in this.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared