Study: Your mother was right -- again

January 17, 2006

Research by University of Virginia Health System nurses suggests your mother was right when she told you not to eat or drink before taking your temperature.

On average, research participants consuming cold beverages required 15 minutes for their temperature to return to baseline, while those consuming hot beverages returned to baseline after 23 minutes.

"Taking an accurate temperature is one of the most basic, yet at times, complicated pieces of data that we can collect to monitor our health and the health of our loved ones," said research project coordinator Beth Quatrara.

To obtain the most accurate temperature reading possible, Quatrara suggests not participating in any activities that may change body or mouth temperature, such as exercise, smoking or chewing gum.

Results of the study -- the first research examining the effects of beverage consumption on the accuracy of oral electronic thermometers -- were presented recently during the annual Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses Convention in Las Vegas.

Previous research on the topic used only men as research subjects and tested oral temperature with mercury-filled thermometers.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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