Oral Temperature in Daily Life. A New Look in the Era of Microinflammation

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It has been repeatedly shown that apparently healthy individuals and those with atherothrombotic risk factors harbor a low grade subclinical internal inflammation (microinflammation). This low grade acute phase response is relevant for the presence of atherothrombosis and future vascular events. Since these events are associated with a febrile response, we thought that it is relevant to clarify whether the microinflammatory response has an influence on the oral temperature. Included were 2,340 men and 1,280 women in whom the white blood cell count (WBCC) and differential, as well as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), quantitative fibrinogen and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were determined in addition to the oral temperature in quiescent conditions. There was no association between these inflammatory biomarkers, except from a weak association with the absolute number of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. This association could be, however, related to the stress of the examination itself. Thus, it is unlikely that the microinflammatory response in daily life is associated, to a significant degree, with an enhanced oral temperature. The results are relevant for the findings of elevated oral temperature during conditions of acute ischemia/infarction where the temperature is probably related to the event itself and not to the patient's background microinflammation.

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