Do temperature and atmospheric pressure affect the incidence of serious odontogenic infection?

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Abstract

Objective.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the popular belief that the incidence of odontogenic cellulitis is weather-related. Two meteorologic parameters were examined: temperature and atmospheric pressure.

Study Design.

To test the hypothesis being studied, a retrospective cohort study design was used. Medical reports of all patients with serious odontogenic cellulitis who were treated at the Salpêtrière University Hospital between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 1995, (a total of 301 cases) were evaluated in relation to the weather. Hypothesizing that the incidence of odontogenic cellulitis was constant over a period of 1 year, the authors calculated the probability of observed incidence for each month over a 12-month period. The mean number of cases of odontogenic cellulitis (± standard error of the mean) for days on which (1) the temperature was within the same 2°-C (3.6°-F) interval and (2) the atmospheric pressure was within the same 3-hPa (2.25-mmHg) interval was also calculated.

Results.

When the monthly incidence of odontogenic cellulitis and either the average temperature or the average atmospheric pressure for each month were examined together, fluctuation in the former seemed to be independent of the latter. Similarly, when we calculated the mean number of cases of odontogenic cellulitis for several intervals of temperature and atmospheric pressure without taking the calendar into account, no direct relationship could be observed.

Conclusion.

The results of the study suggest that the occurrence of odontogenic cellulitis is not influenced by the weather, at least insofar as weather is measured by temperature and atmospheric pressure.

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