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Body temperature and depression are correlated

Research suggests that individuals with depression often exhibit elevated body temperatures, indicating potential mental health benefits from temperature reduction.

However, it remains unclear whether depression leads to higher temperatures or vice versa. Furthermore, the reasons behind elevated body temperatures in depressed individuals—whether due to decreased self-cooling ability, increased metabolic heat generation, or a combination—are yet to be fully understood.



In a seven-month study starting in early 2020, researchers examined data from over 20,000 participants across 106 countries. Participants wore a temperature-measuring device and reported daily body temperatures and depression symptoms. Findings revealed a correlation: as depression symptom severity rose, so did body temperatures. While there was a trend towards higher depression scores in individuals with less temperature fluctuation over 24 hours, this trend didn't reach statistical significance.


Ashley Mason, PhD, the lead author and associate professor of psychiatry at UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, stated that the findings offer insights into potential depression treatments. Existing studies suggest that hot tub or sauna use may alleviate depression by prompting the body to self-cool through sweating. Mason, also a clinical psychologist at UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Health, suggests tracking body temperature to optimize timing for heat-based therapies.



This study, the largest to date, investigates the link between body temperature and depressive symptoms.


Sources - Hindustan Times

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