New research shows that sauna baths protect the heart


2 minutes

A research team from Finland has attracted attention with a study showing that taking regular sauna baths can reduce the risk of heart attacks with up to 63 per cent.

Basta med relaxology

For 20 years, researchers followed 2,000 middle-aged men (42-60 years). During this period, it became clear that those who sauna bathed regularly had a significantly lower risk both to suffer and to die from cardiovascular diseases of various kinds. The participants who bathed lived noticeably longer. The effect was more evident the more often a person had spent time in the sauna. The study was led by Dr. Jari Laukannen, cardiologist at the University of Eastern Finland.

This relationship was still strong even when other potential variables were included in the analyses, he says.

The mechanisms explaining why sauna baths seem to have such a positive effect on cardiovascular health are still unknown to the researchers behind the study.

Further research will be needed to investigate this, says Dr. Jari Lukannen.

Dr. Rita Redberg is a cardiologist at the University of California and editor of the journal that published the study; JAMA Internal Medicine.

I have always enjoyed the sauna, but I had no idea that the health benefits were this dramatic, she says to Reuters.

Dr. Rita Redberg mentions the relaxation and the social aspects of sauna bathing as factors with a positive impact on health, in addition to the physiological effects of the baths.

We still dont know exactly the reason why the devoted sauna bathers lived longer, but the study clearly shows that the time spent in the sauna is well spent, she says.