Sauna Reduces Cardio and Vascular Risks

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Woman in sauna

Woman in sauna

When JAMA Internal Medicine published the startling results from a 2015 study that found a lower cause of all mortality for men who sauna bathed four to seven times a week, there was only one problem with the good news. Where were the women?

In that study, increased sauna time was associated with a reduced risk of sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease (CHD), fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD), and all-cause mortality among men.

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That situation has been remedied. Some of the same researchers from the earlier study, led by T. Laukkanen of the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio have added to our knowledge with results for women too.

Writing in BMC Medicine, they acknowledge previous evidence that sauna bathing is related to a reduced risk of fatal CVD events in men, the aim of this newer, they write, was to investigate the relationship between sauna habits and CVD mortality in both sexes

Sauna bathing habits were assessed among 1,688 participants whose ages ranged from 53 to 74 with 63% of the participants women. The study time included more than 14 years of follow-up.

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As with men, women who enjoyed the most time in the sauna (three to seven times per week) were much less likely to experience fatal CVD events.

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“Furthermore, our recent research evidence suggests that a combination of regular physical fitness and sauna baths is associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events compared with each modality alone.”

References i Laukkanen T, Khan H, Zaccardi F, Laukkanen JA.Association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events.JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Apr;175(4):542-8. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8187.
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