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Comment & Response |

The Link Between Sauna Bathing and Mortality May Be Noncausal

Mika Kivimäki, PhD1; Marianna Virtanen, PhD2; Jane E. Ferrie, PhD1,3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom
2Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
3School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(10):1718. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.3426.
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To the Editor Laukkanen et al1 found a striking inverse relationship between saunas (mean temperature, 79°C [174°F]) and fatal cardiovascular disease in Finnish men. The hazard of sudden cardiac death was more than 60% lower among men who reported 4 to 7 sauna sessions per week compared with those who reported only 1 session. For deaths from coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and all causes, the corresponding hazard ratios were 40% to 50% lower. If these observed associations are causal, the risk reduction associated with frequent sauna visits would be comparable to or greater than that for traditional prevention strategies, such as lipid-lowering and antihypertensive therapy (risk reduction, 20%-50%).2,3

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October 1, 2015
Yoram Epstein, PhD; Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD
1Heller Institute of Medical Research, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel2Department of Internal Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(10):1718-1719. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.3429.
October 1, 2015
Tanjaniina Laukkanen, MSc; Hassan Khan, MD, PhD; Francesco Zaccardi, MD
1Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
2Department of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
3Institute of Internal Medicine and Diabetes Care Unit, Catholic University School of Medicine, Rome, Italy
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(10):1719. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.3432.
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