Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Study Ties Saunas to Lower Risk of Death From Heart Disease


More frequent use, longer times per session decreased odds even more, but cause-and-effect link not proven

HealthDay – Not on Site

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Sweating it out in a hot sauna may be relaxing, and new research suggests it may also be good for your heart health.

A study from Finland found that men who use saunas frequently are less likely to die from heart disease. Men's risk was even lower when they visited saunas more often in a week, and when they spent longer periods of time in a sauna each session, the researchers reported.

The findings could cause cardiologists to reconsider commonly held concerns about exposing heart patients to the heat present in a sauna, said Dr. Paul Thompson, medical director of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn., and a member of the American College of Cardiology Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council.

"As a cardiologist, I have discouraged patients from using a sauna, from concerns over heat putting demands on a person's cardiovascular system," Thompson said. "Maybe we shouldn't be so restrictive with our patients."

While the study found an association between sauna use and improved heart health, it couldn't show a cause-and-effect relationship between these factors.

Dr. Elliott Antman, a spokesman for the American Heart Association, explained, "We don't know for sure that using the sauna was definitely the cause of the lower rate of cardiovascular events observed in those individuals who used the sauna.

"It could be that the individuals who use the sauna are individuals who are interested in a healthier lifestyle. There could be confounders here that explain the observation," said Antman, who is also a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The study is published in the Feb. 23 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

In the study, researchers studied more than 2,300 middle-aged men from eastern Finland. The men were between the ages of ages 42 and 60. The researchers followed their health for an average of two decades.

Frequent use of saunas consistently appeared to lower the risk of death from heart problems:

  • Risk of sudden cardiac death was 22 percent lower after two to three sauna bathing sessions per week and 63 percent lower with four to seven sauna sessions per week.
  • Risk of fatal heart disease was 23 percent lower for two to three bathing sessions per week and 48 percent lower for four to seven sauna sessions per week.
  • Risk of death from heart disease or stroke was 27 percent lower for two to three saunas a week and 50 percent lower for four to seven saunas a week.

source : Study Ties Saunas to Lower Risk of Death From Heart Disease

0 comments to “Study Ties Saunas to Lower Risk of Death From Heart Disease”

Post a Comment