Relationship between onset of spontaneous pneumothorax and weather conditions

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) results from the rupture of blebs or bullae. It has been suggested that changes in weather conditions may trigger the onset of SP. Our aim was to examine the association between the onset of primary SP with weather changes in the general population in Sapporo, Japan.

METHODS

From January 2008 through September 2013, 345 consecutive cases with a diagnosis of primary SP were reviewed. All cases of primary SP developed in the area within 40 km from the Sapporo District Meteorological Observatory. Climatic measurements were obtained from the Observatory, which included 1-h readings of weather conditions. Logistic regression model was used to obtain predicted risks for the onset of SP with respect to weather conditions.

RESULTS

SP occurred significantly when the atmospheric pressure decreased by − 18 hPa or less during 96 h before the survey date (odds ratio = 1.379, P = 0.026), when the pressure increased by 15 hPa or more during 72 h before the survey date (odds ratio = 1.095, P = 0.007) and when maximum fluctuation in atmospheric pressure over 22 hPa was observed during 96 h before the survey date (odds ratio = 1.519, P = 0.001). Other weather conditions, including the presence of thunderstorms, were not significantly correlated with the onset of pneumothorax.

CONCLUSIONS

Changes in atmospheric pressure influence the onset of SP. Future studies on the relationship between the onset of SP and weather conditions on days other than before the onset and with large number of patients may enable us to predict the onset of SP in various regions and weather conditions.

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