Health Editor’s Note: Statistics would point in the direction that the human body is cooling down. The average body temperature is no longer 98.6 degrees F. In subsequent studies over the years, the average body temperature is falling and is now about 97.9 degrees F. Any ideas of why or how this is happening?…..Carol
Human Body Temperature Is Getting Cooler, Study Finds
By Brigit Katz/Smithsonianmag.com
In 1851, a German doctor named Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich took the temperatures of some 25,000 patients in the city of Leipzig and concluded that the average human body temperature sits at 37 degrees Celsius, or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Though variations are known to exist from person to person, Wunderlich’s standard remains a benchmark for medical professionals today. But a new study published in eLife suggests that in the United States, at least, average temperatures are going down—a trend that can be observed in medical records spanning more than 150 years.
Previous research indicated that Wunderlich’s average may have run a little high. In a 1992 study of 148 patients, for instance, scientists at the University of Maryland measured an average temperature of 36.8 degrees Celsius, or 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. More recently, a 2017 study of around 35,000 British patients found that the mean oral temperature clocked in at 36.6 degrees Celsius, or 97.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Some experts concluded that Wunderlich’s measurements had simply been inaccurate. But according to the new paper, authored by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, human bodies are actually cooling.
The team looked at three large temperature datasets from three distinct periods. The first was compiled from medical records, military records and pension records of ….Read More: