Frequent Sauna Use Study Shows Less Cardiovascular Events and All-cause Mortality

Cardiovascular

Author: The JAMA Network Journals - Contact: Jari A. Laukkanen - jariantero.laukkanen@uef.fi
Published: 2015/02/25
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: New study suggests men who engaged in frequent sauna use had reduced risks of fatal cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality.

Introduction

A sauna may do more than just make you sweat. A new study suggests men who engaged in frequent sauna use had reduced risks of fatal cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Main Digest

Although some studies have found sauna bathing to be associated with better cardiovascular and circulatory function, the association between regular sauna bathing and risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) and fatal cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is not known.

Jari A. Laukkanen, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, and coauthors investigated the association between sauna bathing and the risk of SCD, fatal coronary heart disease (CHD), fatal CVD and all-cause mortality in a group of 2,315 middle-aged men (42 to 60 years old) from eastern Finland.

Results show:

The amount of time spent in the sauna seemed to matter too.

Compared with men who spent less than 11 minutes in the sauna, the risk of SCD was 7 percent lower for sauna sessions of 11 to 19 minutes and 52 percent less for sessions lasting more than 19 minutes. Similar associations were seen for fatal CHDs and fatal CVDs but not for all-cause mortality events.

"Further studies are warranted to establish the potential mechanism that links sauna bathing and cardiovascular health," the study concludes.

Editor's Note: Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing

In a related Editor's Note, Rita F. Redberg, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and editor-in-chief of JAMA Internal Medicine, writes:

"Although we do not know why the men who took saunas more frequently had greater longevity (whether it is the time spent in the hot room, the relaxation time, the leisure of a life that allows for more relaxation time or the camaraderie of the sauna), clearly time spent in the sauna is time well spent."

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