• 1

    Stoffers HE, Kester AD, Kaiser V, et al: Diagnostic value of signs and symptoms associated with peripheral arterial occlusive disease seen in general practice: a multivariable approach. .Med Decis Making 17::61. ,1997. .

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2

    Gorson KC, Ropper AH: Idiopathic distal small fiber neuropathy. .Acta Neurol Scand 92::376. ,1995. .

  • 3

    Feleke E, Lyngstam O, Rastam L, et al: Complaints of cold extremities among patients on antihypertensive treatment. .Acta Med Scand 213::381. ,1983. .

  • 4

    Kang P, Hoffman S, Krismitsos E, et al: Ambulatory foot temperature measurement: a new technique in polyneuropathy evaluation. .Muscle Nerve 27::737. ,2003. .

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5

    van Marken Lichtenbelt WD, Daanen HA, Wouters L, et al: Evaluation of wireless determination of skin temperature using iButtons. .Physiol Behav 88::489. ,2006. .

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6

    Rutkove SB, Nie R, Mitsa T, et al: A methodology for the real-time measurement of distal extremity temperature. .Physiol Meas 28::1421. ,2007. .

  • 7

    Rutkove SB, Veves A, Mitsa T, et al: Impaired distal thermoregulation in diabetes and diabetic polyneuropathy. .Diabetes Care 32::671. ,2009. .

  • 8

    Ziegler D, Piolot R, Strassburger K, et al: Normal ranges and reproducibility of statistical, geometric, frequency domain, and non-linear measures of 24-hour heart rate variability. .Horm Metab Res 31::672. ,1999. .

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9

    Bharara M, Cobb JE, Claremont DJ: Thermography and thermometry in the neuropathic assessment of the diabetic foot: a case for furthering the role of thermal technique. .Int J Low Extrem Wounds 5::250. ,2006. .

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10

    Kelechi TJ, Michel Y: A descriptive study of skin temperature, tissue perfusion, and tissue oxygen in patients with chronic venous disease. .Biol Res Nurs 9::70. ,2008. .

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11

    Lavery LA, Higgins KR, Lanctot DR, et al: Home monitoring of foot skin temperatures to prevent ulceration. .Diabetes Care 27::2642. ,2004. .

  • 12

    Lichstein KL, Stone KC, Donaldson J, et al: Actigraphy validation with insomnia. .Sleep 29::232. ,2006. .

Foot Temperature in Healthy Individuals

Effects of Ambient Temperature and Age

Rachel A. Nardin Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Search for other papers by Rachel A. Nardin in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 MD
,
Patricia M. Fogerson Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Search for other papers by Patricia M. Fogerson in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 BS
,
Rui Nie Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Search for other papers by Rui Nie in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 BA
, and
Seward B. Rutkove Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Search for other papers by Seward B. Rutkove in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 MD
Restricted access

Background: Patient complaints of excessively warm or cold feet are common in medical practice. Such symptoms can be caused by underlying vascular or neurologic disease, and measurement of foot temperature during daily activity and sleep could provide a deeper understanding of their actual thermal basis.

Methods: We used a Thermochron iButton to assess surface foot temperature variation and its relationship to ambient temperature during the day with activity and at night during sleep in 39 healthy individuals aged 18 to 65 years in a temperate region of the United States. We simultaneously used actigraphy to record leg movement.

Results: We identified a mean ± SD awake temperature of 30.6° ± 2.6° C and asleep temperature of 34.0° ± 1.8° C, with values reaching as low as 15.9°C in the winter and as high as 37.5°C in the summer. Foot temperature was found to be independent of foot movement or sex; however, there was, as expected, a strong association between foot temperature and ambient temperature (r = .59, P < .001). Several measures of foot temperature variation demonstrated a significant or near-significant reduction with increasing age, including the Euclidean distance (r = −.38, P = .02) for awake periods and the variance (r = −.30, P = .06) during sleep.

Conclusions: These results provide data on the normal variation of foot temperature in individuals living in a temperate climate and demonstrate the potential use of Thermochron iButton technology in clinical contexts, including the evaluation of patients with excessively warm or cold feet. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 258–264, 2010)

Corresponding author: Seward B. Rutkove, MD, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, TCC-810, Boston, MA 02215. (E-mail: srutkove@bidmc.harvard.edu)