European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 351–353 | Cite as

Sauna bathing and systemic inflammation

  • Jari A. LaukkanenEmail author
  • Tanjaniina Laukkanen


We aimed to investigate whether frequency of sauna bathing is associated with the levels of serum C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is a leading blood marker of systemic inflammation. The study consisted of 2084 men (42–60 years) without acute or chronic inflammation. A total of 533 (25.6%), 1368 (65.6%), and 183 (8.8%) participants reported having a sauna bath once a week, 2–3 times, and 4–7 times per week; mean serum C-reactive protein levels were 2.41 (standard deviation 2.91), 2.00 (2.41), 1.65 (1.63) mmol/L, respectively. In a multivariable analysis adjusted for baseline age, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, smoking, type 2 diabetes, previous myocardial infarction, and serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol, alcohol consumption and physical activity, there was a significant inverse association between the frequency of sauna bathing and the level of C-reactive protein. Further studies are warranted to investigate the relationship between sauna bathing and systemic inflammation.


Sauna bathing Epidemiology C-reactive protein 



This study was supported by the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, Helsinki, Finland. We thank the staff of the Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine and the Research Institute of Public Health, and University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland, for data collection in the study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Public Health and Clinical NutritionUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineCentral Finland Health Care DistrictJyväskyläFinland

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