Document Type

Article

Department

Medicine

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the range for normal body temperature in the general population of Pakistan and to determine if any age, sex and ambient temperature related variations exist in body temperature. Moreover, to compare how much axillary temperature differs from oral temperature measurements.

METHODS:

Oral as well as left and right axillary temperature recordings were made using an ordinary mercury-in-glass thermometer in 200 healthy individuals accompanying patients at various clinics at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) between mid-May to mid-June 2006. Data analysis was done using Epi Info version 3.3.

RESULTS:

The range for Normal Oral Temperatures fell between 97 degrees F to 99.8 degrees F (mean 98.4 degrees F). There were no significant age related (p=0.68) and ambient temperature related variations (p=0.51) in body temperature, but women had slightly higher normal temperatures than men (mean 98.5 degrees F vs. 98.3 degrees F; p=0.01). A wide variation existed in the difference between oral and axillary temperatures, with axillary temperatures ranging up to 2.6 degrees F lower or up to 1.1 degrees F higher than the oral temperatures (mean difference = 0.85 degrees F). The correlation between oral and axillary temperatures increased at higher oral temperatures (p=0.009).

CONCLUSION:

There is a range for Normal Body Temperature and any temperature above 98.6 degrees F/37 degrees C is not necessarily pathological. Women appear to have higher body temperatures. As there is no uniform oral equivalent of axillary temperature, the latter should be interpreted with caution.

Publication

JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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