Cooling down

As global temperatures rise, the average human body temperature is dipping, recent research shows.

In a study published Jan. 7 in eLife, senior author Julie Parsonnet, MD, professor of medicine and of health research and policy, and her colleagues reported that the average body temperature has dropped 0.05 F every decade since the 1800s.

Researchers propose that the decrease is the result of changes in the living environment, such as improvements in public health and standard of living. “Physiologically, we’re just different from what we were in the past,” said Parsonnet.

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