Research: BROWN and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 72


BROWN and colleagues, Clinical Trials and Surveys Corp., 350 West Quadrangle, Baltimore, MA 21210, USA, investigated the effects of stress, anxiety and outdoor temperature on Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) attack characteristics.


The investigators reported that they expected stress and anxiety to be related to RP attack characteristics when mild outdoor temperatures produced partial or no digital vasoconstriction . They hypothesized that in warmer temperature categories in comparison with those below 40°F, higher stress or anxiety would be associated with more frequent, severe and painful attacks .


313 subjects with primary RP were recruited. Outcome measures were attack rate, severity and pain . Predictors were average daily outdoor temperature, stress, anxiety, age, gender and a stress-by- temperature or an anxiety-by-temperature interaction. Outcomes were tested separately in multiple linear regression models. Stress and anxiety were tested in separate models.


Stress was not a significant predictor of RP attack characteristics. Higher anxiety was related to more frequent attacks above 60°F, to greater attack severity at all temperatures, and to greater pain above 60°F and between 40°F and 49.9°F .



Brown KM et al. The effects of stress, anxiety, and outdoor temperature on the frequency and severity of Raynaud's attacks: the Raynaud's Treatment Study. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 24 (2): 137-53. Apr 2001.

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