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Sauna use 4-7 times per week associated with 40% lower risk of death over 20 years
Wednesday, July 04, 2018 7:55 am Email this article
Finnish men who used a sauna 4-7 times per week were 40% less likely to die during an average follow-up of 20.7 years compared to men who used a sauna once a week according to a recent study.
Men who used a sauna 4-7 times per week compared to men who used it once a week were also:
- 63% less likely to die from Sudden Cardiac Death
- 48% less likely to die from Fatal Coronary Heart Disease
- 50% less likely to die from Fatal Cardiovascular Disease
After Adjusting for Cardiovascular Risk Factors
This was after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors including age, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, smoking, alcohol consumption, previous myocardial infarction, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiorespiratory fitness, resting heart rate, physical activity, and socioeconomic status.
Sauna Duration: More Than 19 Minutes Best
Compared to men who used the sauna for less than 11 minutes per session, those who used the sauna for more than 19 minutes per session were:
- 52% less likely to die from Sudden Cardiac Death
- 36% less likely to die from Fatal Coronary Heart Disease
- 24% less likely to die from Fatal Cardiovascular Disease
- 17% less likely to die from Any Cause (although this difference was not statistically significant, p=0.82 meaning that there was a 82% chance that this difference was due to random chance)
“This study provides prospective evidence that sauna bathing is a protective factor against the risk of [sudden cardiac death], fatal [coronary heart disease], fatal [cardiovascular disease], and all-cause mortality events in the general male population,” the authors concluded.
“Our results suggest that sauna bathing is a recommendable health habit, although further studies are needed to confirm our results in different population settings.”
Subjects: 2315 Men Followed for 20 Years
The study involved 2315 middle-aged men (age range, 42-60 years) from Eastern Finland who were part of the Finnish Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study and were followed for an average of 20.7 years.
Laukkanen T, Khan H, Zaccardi F, and Laukkanen JA. Association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events. JAMA Intern Med, 2015 Apr; 175(4): 542-548.
Author’s Contact Info
Jari A. Laukkanen, MD, PhD
Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition
University of Eastern Finland
PO Box 1627
FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland
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