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29.10.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2019

Clinical Rheumatology 3/2019

Seasonal variation in the internet searches for gout: an ecological study

Zeitschrift:
Clinical Rheumatology > Ausgabe 3/2019
Autor:
Sinan Kardeş
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10067-018-4345-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Introduction/objective

While few studies with various types of outcomes and methodology have investigated the seasonality of gout, no internet data has been used in any study. This novel methodology may complement and extend the previous traditional data sources and has increasingly been used in investigating the seasonality of health conditions. Therefore, the objective of this study was to utilize the Google Trends data to test whether there is a seasonal variation in the internet searches for gout on a population basis.

Methods

In this observational ecological study, the Google Trends was searched for the [gout] within the USA, the UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand from January 01, 2004, to December 31, 2017, utilizing the “health” category.

Results

The cosinor analyses revealed a statistically significant seasonal variation in relative search volume of the [gout] in the USA, the UK (p < 0.001), Canada (p < 0.001), Ireland (p < 0.001), Australia (p < 0.001), and New Zealand (p < 0.001), with a peak in the late spring/early summer months and trough in the late fall/early winter months. The peaks in late spring/early summer and troughs in late fall/early winter were out of phase by 6 months in the northern compared to the southern hemisphere countries.

Conclusion

Another line of evidence from internet search query data showed a seasonal variation in gout, with a peak in the late spring/early summer months. Further studies aimed at elucidating the possible mechanisms behind seasonality in gout are needed.

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