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Volume 39, Number 6, December 2006

Abrupt temperature change triggers arthralgia in patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis


Wei-Shien Tsai, Yao-Hsu Yang, Li-Chieh Wang, Bor-Luen Chiang
Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei; and Department of Pediatrics, Cardinal Tien Hospital Yung Ho Branch, Taipei, Taiwan

Received: June 28, 2005    Revised: April 10, 2006    Accepted: April 14, 2006   

 

Corresponding author:

Dr. Bor-Luen Chiang, Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei, Taiwan. E-mail: gicmbor@ha.mc.ntu.edu.tw This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 



 

Background and purpose: 

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is the most common form of arthritis in children and affects both quality of life and school attendance. Weather and temperature conditions are believed to affect joint pains; however, very few studies have investigated this issue. This study examined the association between joint pain in JRA patients and weather conditions.
 



 

Methods:

The daily pain ratings of 52 patients previously diagnosed with JRA were recorded on visual analog scales over 4 months beginning January 1, 2004. These ratings were then compared with weather data to evaluate possible correlation between these two factors



 

Results:

Twenty nine patients kept daily records during the first 2 months. There was no positive correlation between weather parameters (such as temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure) and pain ratings. Interestingly, the pain rating significantly increased the day after the advent of a cold wave (sign test, p<0.01; Wilcoxon signed ranks test, p=0.001). The number of patients who experienced joint swelling was not related to weather conditions. Twenty one participants continued maintaining the diaries during the next 2 months. The patients reported higher pain levels in the first 2 months during the cold wave period than in the next 2 months when the cold wave period had ended (p<0.001).

 



 

Conclusion:

A dramatic weather change such as a sudden cold wave might influence the experience of joint pain.

 



 

Key words:

Arthralgia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, microclimate, weather

 



 

J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2006;39:465-470.