Asthma, headaches, migraine, allergies, mood
Asthma rates can sore within 60 minutes of a thunderstorm. Research at Imperial College into the effects of one storm in London shows: "A sudden and extensive epidemic occurred within about an hour, affecting possibly several thousand patients." Most of these people were found to have antibodies to grass pollen, but the researchers were unable to conclude exactly how storms increase asthma attacks. A second study suggests that pollen grains are ruptured by the thunderstorm, releasing large amounts of concentrated inhalable allergens.
Headaches, migraine, ear wax, sickle-cell anaemia, insomnia, gout, respiratory viruses, rheumatoid arthritis
More than half of headaches are triggered by weather, say researchers at the Children's Hospital, Boston. In their study group, one in three headaches were caused by changes in humidity and temperature, while 13 per cent developed as a result of changes in barometric pressure. A study at Kingston University, Surrey, shows that painful sickle-cell anaemia symptoms increase when humidity is low and wind-speeds are high, as a result of the weather conditions cooling skin.
Research at Nahdha Hospital in Oman shows that people living in areas with high humidity are twice as likely to have problems with ear wax, while work in Boston shows attacks of gout are more frequent on days of high humidity, possibly because of the effects of dehydration. A study at the State University of New York suggests that respiratory viruses are most active when humidity is high.
Arthritis, headaches, births, pain, memory, violence, mental health, behavioural problems
Researchers have found that slight low-frequency atmospheric pressure can influence human mental activity, causing significant changes in attention span and short-term memory functions. It's long been claimed that osteoarthritis symptoms worsen with the weather, and research at Tufts University in Boston shows this may be linked to both barometric pressure and temperature. And a study at Tokyo Medical University shows that deliveries increase when atmospheric pressure falls, possibly as a result of early breaking of the foetal membranes.
Elsewhere, researchers at the University of Louisville School of Medicine found that acts of violence and emergency psychiatry visits are also linked, while a study of rheumatoid arthritis patients in Spain shows that low pressure and low temperature both increase joint pain. Russian scientists have also reported that low atmospheric pressure can slow mental activity.
Cancer, seasonal affective disorder, pain, fertility, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis
Sun exposure may increase survival chances for cancer patients. Research shows that women diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer have a 14 per cent higher chance of survival than those diagnosed in the winter, while men and women found to have lung cancer in thesummer had a five per cent lower risk of dying.Sunlight is essential for the production of vitamin D in the body, and one explanation could be that this vitaminhelps stop the growth of tumours. "We found substantial seasonality in cancer survival, with diagnosis in the summer and autumn months being associated with improved survival, especially in lungand breast cancer patients," say researchers from King's College. Meanwhile, scientists at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego found that the right levels of vitamin D halve the risk of colon cancer, and doctors at the University of Milan found that patients admitted with clinical depression who were allocated hospitals beds with high levels of sunlight in the mornings went home 3.67 days earlier than average.
Mood, plague, water-borne infections, headaches, respiratory problems
Research at the University of New Mexico shows that cases of plague in humans occurred more frequently in years when rainfall was 13 per cent above normal. …