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Research Letter
October 8, 2019

A Preliminary Study of the Effect of Dousing and Foot Immersion on Cardiovascular and Thermal Responses to Extreme Heat

Author Affiliations
  • 1Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • 2School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
JAMA. 2019;322(14):1411-1413. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.13051

Air conditioning1 and electric fans2 are used to mitigate physiological strain during extreme heat exposure but may not always be available.3 Drinking water is commonly recommended4; however, when applied externally, water also can reduce body heat via evaporation from the skin or conduction when body parts with high surface-area-to-mass ratio are submerged. We assessed whether a self-dousing or a foot immersion intervention mitigated increases in cardiovascular (heart rate) and thermal (core temperature) strain and dehydration during conditions simulating hot, humid and very hot, dry heat waves.