Seasonal fluctuation in the incidence of intracranial aneurysm rupture and its relationship to changing climatic conditions

J Neurosurg. 1994 Oct;81(4):525-30. doi: 10.3171/jns.1994.81.4.0525.


Seasonal and climatic variations have been linked to the occurrence of some types of cerebrovascular disease; however, the conditions that lead to intracranial aneurysm rupture are not known. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether seasonal and climatic conditions are related to intracranial aneurysm rupture. Data provided by the Connecticut Health Information Management and Exchange were analyzed for all patients with a primary diagnosis of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) for the fiscal years 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, and 1989. Patient records were correlated with climatic conditions for the years 1981 to 1989 obtained from the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite Data, and Information Service. During the time periods studied, 1487 patients with a primary diagnosis of aneurysmal SAH were treated by reporting hospitals. Seasonal variation in the incidence of aneurysmal SAH and admission clustering were observed but differed significantly between men and women. Men showed a single large peak in late fall (Roger's r = 11.5, p < 0.005), whereas women had an annual peak occurring in late spring (Roger's r = 10.3, p < 0.01). Substantial climatic change occurred during the 72 hours prior to 10 of the 14 clusters of men who were admitted (p < 0.01, Yates' corrected chi-square 7.33, df = 1). In contrast, clusters of women admitted were not related to preceding climatic change (p > 0.25, Yates' corrected chi-square 0.06, df = 1). Hospital admissions for aneurysmal SAH display seasonal fluctuation, with women showing a different seasonal pattern from men. Changing climatic conditions precede aneurysm rupture in men but not in women, which suggests that weather is causally related to aneurysm rupture in men, and that factors that lead to aneurysm rupture in women may be different from those in men. These data do not explain why weather fronts or gradients are associated with aneurysm rupture in men.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / epidemiology*
  • Climate
  • Connecticut / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rupture, Spontaneous
  • Seasons*
  • Space-Time Clustering
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Weather