The effect of weather variables on the severity, duration, and frequency of headache attacks in the cases of episodic migraine and episodic tension-type headache


Abstract: Background/aim: Although many headache patients report that the frequency and severity of attacks vary according to the season or weather in clinical practice, the relationship between the characteristics of the attacks and the weather is not very clear in episodic headaches. We aimed to compare the effects of weather variables (temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity, pressure, ultraviolet index, and sunshine duration) on episodic migraine (EM) and episodic tension-type headache (ETTH) attacks (incidence, duration, and severity). Materials and methods: Fifty patients with EM and fifty patients with ETTH diagnosed according to International Classification of Headache Disorders-II are included in the study. Patients were given one diary for headache follow-up. The evaluation form on the relationship between the duration, frequency, and severity of the pain and the findings obtained from the headache diaries were compared with the daily weather data, and the two headache groups were compared with each other in terms of the effect of meteorological data on the pain characteristics. Results: It is determined that mean wind velocity in EM attacks is significantly higher when compared to the tension-type headache (TTH) attacks and mean UV index is significantly higher in TTH attacks (p = 0.018 and 0.039). Mean UV index in TTH attack days was reported higher in women than men (p = 0.044). Mean sunshine duration in TTH attack days was reported longer in women than men (p = 0.050). When mean age gets higher in patients with migraine, mean temperature in the days of attack gets lower (r = ?0.146 and p = 0.046). Conclusion: During the treatment of migraine and TTH patients, recommendations and warnings about weather conditions can be made. This information can guide patients to regulate their daily living activities. The importance of considering the weather-headache relationship during the review of the current treatment in cases of unresponsiveness to treatment should be kept in mind.

Keywords: Headache, migraine, tension-type headache, weather

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