It’s a myth that refuses to go away! –
Back in 1958, researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial of people to see if being cold made them more likely to get sick. They had one group sit in a room that was 10 degrees Fahrenheit dressed in street clothes, overcoats, hats and gloves. They had another group sit in their underwear in a room that was 60 degrees Fahrenheit. A third group sat in 80 degrees Fahrenheit, also in their underwear. All of them were “inoculated” with the mucus of a sick person in their noses and then followed to see if they became ill.
Don’t ask me who volunteers for such things. But thanks to them, we know that the temperature didn’t seem to have any effect on their chances of getting sick.
People’s feelings about colds, like a lot of medical myths, become entrenched. It seems that no matter how hard you push back on them, they refuse to change their minds. It doesn’t matter that some research shows that being exposed to the cold actually stimulates the immune system rather than impairing it. It may also be, as a 2005 study in The Journal of Family Practice showed, that people who are exposed to cold are more likely to report symptoms, even if they aren’t actually infected more often. Perception, and even potentially a belief in this explanation, may contribute to its longevity.