The Weather and Ménière's Disease: A Longitudinal Analysis in the UK.
Otology and Neurotology
Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
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HYPOTHESIS: Changes in the weather influence symptom severity in Ménière's disease (MD). BACKGROUND: MD is an unpredictable condition that significantly impacts on quality of life. It is suggested that fluctuations in the weather, especially atmospheric pressure may influence the symptoms of MD. However, to date, limited research has investigated the impact of the weather on MD. METHODS: In a longitudinal study, a mobile phone application collected data from 397 individuals (277 females and 120 males with an average age of 50 yr) from the UK reporting consultant-diagnosed MD. Daily symptoms (vertigo, aural fullness, tinnitus, hearing loss, and attack prevalence) and GPS locations were collected; these data were linked with Met Office weather data (including atmospheric pressure, humidity, temperature, visibility, and wind speed). RESULTS: Symptom severity and attack prevalence were reduced on days when atmospheric pressure was higher. When atmospheric pressure was below 1,013 hectopascals, the risk of an attack was 1.30 (95% confidence interval: 1.10, 1.54); when the humidity was above 90%, the risk of an attack was 1.26 (95% confidence interval 1.06, 1.49). CONCLUSION: This study provides the strongest evidence to date that changes in atmospheric pressure and humidity are associated with symptom exacerbation in MD. Improving our understanding of the role of weather and other environmental triggers in Ménière's may reduce the uncertainty associated with living with this condition, significantly contributing to improved quality of life.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CCBY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0.
The European Centre for Environment and Human Health (part of the University of Exeter Medical School) is partly financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013 and European Social Fund Convergence Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (Dr. J.T. and Dr. N.O.). Dr. J.T. is supported by the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation. This research is part of the MEDMI Project (Medical and Environmental Data Mashup Infrastructure) MR/ K019341/1, which is funded in part by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) (Dr. W.S.). The UK Meniere’s Society assisted in patient recruitment
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