Hypothermia in the aged

Environ Health Perspect. 1977 Oct;20:127-30. doi: 10.1289/ehp.7720127.


Body temperature is maintained by a balance between heat production and heat loss. Temperature regulation consequent to exposure to a cold environment appears to be modified in elderly persons. An evaluation of the physiological adjustments made by older individuals is presented. It is apparent that hypothermia can develop in the older population as a consequence of modifications in both behavioral and physiological responses to cold exposure. With the growing awareness of an energy shortage with consequent lower ambient temperatures in homes, there is a need to obtain adequate information as to the physiological capabilities and adaptive potential of elderly individuals to a cold stress.

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia / etiology
  • Hypothermia / physiopathology*
  • Hypothermia / therapy
  • Hypothyroidism / complications
  • Shivering
  • Tryptophan / deficiency
  • Vasoconstriction


  • Tryptophan