Is arthritis pain intensified by the weather?

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There is a widespread and strongly held belief that arthritis pain is influenced by the weather; however, scientific studies have found no consistent association. We hypothesize that this belief results, in part at least, from people’s tendency to perceive patterns where none exist. We studied patients (n = 18) for more than I year and found no statistically significant associations between their arthritis pain and the weather conditions implicated by each individual. We also found that college students (n = 97) tend to perceive correlations between uncorrelated random sequences. This departure of people’s intuitive notion of association from the statistical concept of association, we suggest, contributes to the belief that arthritis pain is influenced by the weather.

Source: “On the belief that arthritis pain is related to the weather.” from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.


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