Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Research Notes and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Pregnant women's awareness of sensitivity to cold (hiesho) and body temperature observational study: A comparison of Japanese and Brazilian women

Sachiyo Nakamura1*, Sueli MT Ichisato2, Shigeko Horiuchi3, Taeko Mori4 and Masako Momoi5

Author Affiliations

1 Keio University,4411 Endo, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-8330, Japan

2 Nursing Department, State University of Maringa, Av. Colombo, 5790 Bloco 1, Sala 15, Maringa, Parana, Brazil

3 St. Luke's College of Nursing and St.Luke's Birth Clinic, 10-1, Akashi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0044, Japan

4 Mori Birth Center, 4-13-3, Mikageishi-machi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe 658-0045, Japan

5 St. Mary's College, 422, Tsubukuhonmachi, Kurume 830-8558, Japan

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:278  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-278

Published: 5 August 2011



Sensitivity to cold (hiesho) is a serious health problem in Japan, yet it is minimally understood within Western cultures. The purpose of this study was to clarify the divergence between pregnant Japanese woman living in Japan and pregnant Brazilian women living in Brazil in awareness of hiesho and differences between core body and peripheral temperatures.


The subjects of this study were 230 pregnant Japanese women living in Japan and 200 pregnant Brazilian women living in Brazil. Data was collected in June/July and November 2005 in Japan and from October 2007 to February 2008 in Brazil. The survey methods consisted of measurement of deep body temperatures and questionnaires.


67.0% of Japanese women and 57.0% of Brazilian women were aware of hiesho, which showed a significant difference between the Japanese and Brazilian women (p = 0.034). The difference between forehead and sole temperatures was 2.0°C among Japanese and 2.8°C among Brazilians in June-July (p = 0.01). But in November the difference between those temperatures was 5.2°C among Japanese and 2.8°C among Brazilians (p < 0.001).


There are differences between Japanese and Brazilians both in awareness of hiesho and in body temperatures.