Sunday, 12.01.2020 – Human Body Temperature Has Decreased in the Last 150 Years

Link of the day: Decreasing human body temperature in the United States since the industrial revolution (scientific paper)

Average body temperature may be declining compared to the temperatures observed a couple of decades ago (it seems now 1.6% lower than in pre-industrial times). This is quite interesting, as lower body temperature is linked to a lower metabolic rate of the body (and maybe also to increased longevity). The authors believe that population-wide decreases in inflammation (antibiotics, less tuberculosis) as well as more comfortable living temperatures through heating (less need for the body to metabolically generate heat) may be good explanations for this trend.

From the abstract:

Using measurements from three cohorts–the Union Army Veterans of the Civil War (N = 23,710; measurement years 1860–1940), the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I (N = 15,301; 1971–1975), and the Stanford Translational Research Integrated Database Environment (N = 150,280; 2007–2017)–we determined that mean body temperature in men and women, after adjusting for age, height, weight and, in some models date and time of day, has decreased monotonically by 0.03°C per birth decade.

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