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Influence of temperature changes on migraine occurrence in Germany


Many factors trigger migraine attacks. Weather is often reported to be one of the most common migraine triggers. However, there is little scientific evidence about the underlying mechanisms and causes. In our pilot study, we used smartphone apps and a web form to collect around 4,700 migraine messages in Germany between June 2011 and February 2012. Taking interdiurnal temperature changes as an indicator for changes in the prevailing meteorological conditions, our analyses were focused on the relationship between temperature changes and the frequency of occurrence of migraine attacks. Linear trends were fitted to the total number of migraine messages with respect to temperature changes. Statistical and systematic errors were estimated. Both increases and decreases in temperature lead to a significant increase in the number of migraine messages. A temperature increase (decrease) of 5 °C resulted in an increase of 19 ± 7 % (24 ± 8 %) in the number of migraine messages.

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    Initial press release: June 17, 2011 (calendar week 24).

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    Number of unemployed with regard to the total population. Source: Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistical Office); Figures for 2011. See


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This work has been supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The Institute of Information Systems (iisys) is supported by the Foundation of Upper Franconia and by the State of Bavaria.

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Correspondence to Jörg Scheidt.

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Scheidt, J., Koppe, C., Rill, S. et al. Influence of temperature changes on migraine occurrence in Germany. Int J Biometeorol 57, 649–654 (2013).

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  • Migraine
  • Headache
  • Weather
  • Air temperature