Daily weather fluctuations are linked to osteoarthritis hip pain

  • Fu K & al.
  • Scand J Rheumatol
  • 2 Jul 2020

  • curated by Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • High daily temperature variation is associated with hip pain severity in people with symptomatic hip osteoarthritis.

Why this matters

  • Although many people with osteoarthritis report that weather changes affect their pain levels, previous studies have yielded conflicting results.

Study design

  • An internet-based case-crossover study.
  • 129 people aged ≥40 years with hip pain (5-7 days a week) completed online questionnaires every 10 days for 90 days.
  • Their reports of when pain was exacerbated were compared with publicly available weather data.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • Median age, 62.9 years.
  • Median BMI, 29.1 kg/m2.
  • Baseline mean mildest pain level: 2.5 out of 10. 
  • Baseline worst pain level: 8.1 out of 10.
  • Higher daily temperature variation during 72 hours before the index date was associated with increased hip pain (P=.04):
    • OR, 1.12 for variation of 10-20°C.
    • OR, 3.89 for variation of >20°C.
  • No significant association was seen between higher risk for pain and changes in barometric pressure, maximum or minimum temperature, relative humidity, or precipitation.

Limitations

  • Mostly white, mostly female study participants in Australia.