High temperatures and low humidity may double risk of gout flare

gout weather, arthritis, joint pain, humidity, temperature, arthritis digestWeather conditions may double the risk of a gout flare says new research from Australia. But no clear link was found between weather and common muscle and joint symptoms.

There is a longstanding belief that changes in weather can trigger muscle and joint pain. Although the study in Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism finds no clear pattern between the two, it did reveal that warm weather could lead to dehydration and increased uric acid concentration in people with gout.

Researchers pooled data from existing international studies on weather and musculoskeletal pain that involved over 15,000 participants and found over 28,000 new episodes or worsening of muscle or joint pain.

Knee or hip osteoarthritis were the most common conditions reported, followed by low back pain and rheumatoid arthritis.

The review reveals changes in air temperature, humidity, pressure and rainfall do not seem to increase the risk of knee, hip or lower back pain symptoms and are not associated with new care seeking events for arthritis.

“There is a common perception that there is an increase of musculoskeletal symptoms such as back pain, hip pain or arthritic symptoms during certain types of weather,” says Prof Manuela Ferreira who led the study.  “Our research challenges that thinking by showing that come rain or shine, weather has no direct link with most of our aches and pains.

“When seeking pain prevention and relief, both patients and clinicians should focus on how to best manage the condition, including weight management and exercises, and not focus on the weather and let it influence treatment.”

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