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Researchers studied the average temperature drop of healthy adults over the past two decades



Researchers studied the average temperature drop of healthy adults over the past two decades

A Tsimane family in a traditional house without walls. Image credit: Michael Gurven

Since the German doctor Carl Wunderlich set the standard “normal”

; body temperature to 98.6°F (37°C), it has been used for nearly two centuries, and both parents and doctors have used it as a means of fever While fever is usually the severity of the disease, it has been evaluated.


However, with the passage of time, in recent years, the decrease in body temperature of healthy adults has been widely reported. A 2017 study of 35,000 adults in the UK found that the average body temperature was low (97.9°F/36.6 C), and a 2019 study showed that the normal body temperature of Americans (in any case, Palo Al, California) The person who cares) 97.5°F (36.4 C).

A multinational team of doctors, anthropologists, and local researchers led by Michael Gurven, professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and chair of the integrated anthropology unit on campus, found that Postdoctoral research also has a similar decline. Tsimane, an indigenous inhabitant of foraging horticulturists in the Amazon region of Bolivia. Researchers have been studying the population for 16 years since Gurven, the co-leader of the Tsimane Health and Life History Project, entered the study population. They have observed a rapid decline in average body temperature, which is 0.09°F per year, so today’s Tsimane body temperature is approximately 97.7°F (36.5 C).

Gulvin said: “In less than two decades, we have seen the same decline as the decline in the United States in about two centuries.” Their analysis is based on 18,000 of nearly 5,500 adults. A large sample of observations and adjusted for many other factors that may affect body temperature, such as ambient temperature and weight.

The anthropologist’s research is published in the journal Scientific progress.

Gulvin said: “This illuminating study shows that since the Civil War, the normal body temperature drop in the United States has been carried out in a single population. It cannot explain why this drop occurred.” “But it is clear about humans. Certain changes in physiology may occur. A major assumption is that over time, due to improvements in sanitation, clean water, vaccination and medical conditions, the number of people we are infected has decreased. We directly visit each patient You have obtained information about clinical diagnosis and biomarkers of infection and inflammation.

Gurven pointed out that although some infections are related to increased body temperature, adjusting for these infections does not account for a sharp drop in body temperature over time. He said: “We have used the same type of thermometer in most of our studies, so this is not caused by a change in the instrument.”

Kraft added: “No matter how we analyze, the decline still exists. Even if we limit the analysis to

Researchers studied the average temperature drop of healthy adults over the past two decades

A Tsimane woman and her grandson walk through a recently burnt garden as part of the slash and burn cultivation of Amazon gardening. Image credit: Michael Gurven

So, a key question is why the body temperature of both Americans and Tsimane has fallen over time. The large amount of data provided by the team’s long-term research in Bolivia explored some possibilities. Gurven explained: “The reason for the decline may be the rise of modern healthcare and the reduction in the duration of mild infections compared to the past.” “Although the health status has improved overall over the past two decades, infections still It is widespread in rural areas of Bolivia. Our results show that reducing infection alone cannot explain the observed drop in body temperature.”

He went on to say that this may be because people are in a better condition, so their bodies may have less work to fight infections. Or greater use of antibiotics and other therapies means that the infection time is shorter now than in the past. Consistent with this argument, Gulvin said: “We found that in the early stages of the study, a respiratory infection caused a higher body temperature than the most recent respiratory infection.”

Although the researchers found that even after analyzing the biomarkers of inflammation, the body temperature still temporarily drops, but more use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may also reduce inflammation.

Kraft said: “Another possibility is that because there is air conditioning in summer and heating in winter, our body does not have to work hard to adjust the internal temperature.” “Although Timani’s body temperature will vary with the time of the year and weather patterns. Change and change, but Dimani still does not use any advanced technology to regulate body temperature. However, they do have more opportunities to wear clothes and blankets.”

The researchers were initially surprised to find that there is no single “magic bullet” that can explain the drop in body temperature. Gulvin said: “This may be a combination of multiple factors, all of which indicate that the situation has improved.”

According to Gurven, the body temperature found in the United States was lower than expected and dropped over time, which caused many people to scratch their heads. Is it fling? In this study, Gurven and his research team confirmed that body temperatures below 98.6°F were found outside the United States and the United Kingdom. “Our research also shows for the first time that even in this tropical environment, body temperature has dropped. In tropical environments, infection still accounts for a large proportion of morbidity and mortality.”

As a vital sign, temperature is an indicator of the physiological condition in the body, very similar to a metabolic thermostat. Gurven said: “We have known for some time that everyone does not have a universal’normal’ body temperature, so I suspect that our findings will affect how clinicians use body temperature readings in practice.” Despite fixing the temperature at 98.6°F, But most clinicians are aware that there is a certain range of “normal” temperatures. From the lowest temperature in the morning to the highest temperature in the afternoon, the body temperature may vary by 1°F throughout the day. It also changes after the menstrual cycle and physical activity, and decreases with age.

However, by linking improvements in broader epidemiological and socio-economic conditions with changes in body temperature, the study suggests that body temperature information may provide clues to the overall health of the population, as do other common indicators such as life expectancy . Gulvin said: “Human body temperature is easy to measure, so it can be easily added to routine large-scale surveys that monitor population health.”


Anthropologists compare comprehensive measures of physiological disorders to understand our age


More information:
M. Gurven and others, “The body temperature of the tropical population drops rapidly”, Scientific progress (2020). advances.sciencemag.org/lookup….1126 / sciadv.abc6599

Courtesy of the University of California, Santa Barbara

Citation: Researchers studied the average body temperature drop of healthy adults in the past 20 years (2020, October 28). The data is from https://phys.org/news/2020-10-decline-average-body- temperature-Retrieved October 28, 2020 Healthy.html

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