Why 'Normal' Body Temperature, Isn't The Norm

                                                              By Ashleigh Hollowel

Clinicians have long adhered to 98.6 degrees as the standard, healthy human temperature, but recent research suggests it's more commonly between 97.3 and 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, health professionals should move away from the traditional temperature benchmark to provide optimal care for patients.

The debate over this specific benchmark has been ongoing since it was introduced as metric in the 19th century. Several studies throughout the years have found the same, that 98.6 often is not the average temperature for many healthy individuals.

Since medical diagnoses and metrics like temperature can vary from person to person, some have suggested the metric be personalized and measured as an average on an individual basis, like blood pressure.

"There is no reason why doctors can't do this routinely," Adele Diamond, PhD, a professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience at the University of British Columbia in Canada who has researched the topic. "There is a need to individualize it."

The need to individualize could lead to improved patient outcomes. Since temperature is an important tool for clinicians to look at related to medical conditions and diagnoses, a more personalized understanding of what is average for one patient could help identify certain conditions more quickly.

"When patients come in and say: "I don't feel well, and this temperature is not normal for me,' you should listen to them," Julie Parsonnet, MD, professor of medicine, epidemiology and population health at Stanford (Calif.) University, told the outlet.

Members only

Reset your password Lost your password?


Abdominal Ultrasound (3 Day) April

Mon., April 11, 2022, 8:00 AM

Child and Adolescent Cancer Survivorship

Thu., April 7, 2022, 7:30 AM