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March 10, 1993


JAMA. 1993;269(10):1252. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500100047019

In Reply.  —We appreciate the interest in our work evinced in these and many other letters received since the publication of our manuscript in JAMA on the normal oral temperature.1 Like Ms Weiger, we believe that the value of our work, if any, is that it "provides a good starting point for a renewed interest in the study of body temperature." Although our sample size might have been larger, as suggested by Mr Shaw, and although we might have taken a greater number of measurements per day on each subject, as urged by Dr Edelsberg, we believe that our study design was adequate to prove the three major conclusions of the investigation:

  1. That 37.0°C (98.6°F), and for that matter 36.8°C (98.2°F), while within the range of normal for oral temperatures of healthy adults, should not be viewed as the normal temperature.

  2. That the "normal" oral temperature is, in fact,