Sauna Bathing is Associated with Reduced Cardiovascular Mortality and Improves Risk Prediction

Contributed By: Jackson Faris, College St. Scholastica

SRI

Principal Investigators

Tanjaniina Laukkanen, Setor K. Kunutsor, Hassan Khan, Peter Willeit, Francesco Zaccardi, Jari A. Laukkanen

Publishing Date

2018

Citation

Laukkanen, T., Kunutsor, S., Khan, H., Willeit, P., Zaccardi, F., & Laukkanen, J. (2018). Sauna bathing is associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality and improves risk prediction. BMC Medicine, 16(219),1-14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-018-1198-0

Summary

Consistent Finnish sauna use decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and all cause mortality.

Key Insights

Laukkanen and colleagues conducted a 20 year study involving 1,688 participants (age range 53-74 years old) to determine if frequent sauna use helped prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD). All participants were assessed at baseline to determine their sauna habits. In addition, individual risk factors for CVD, such as age and BMI, were taken into account. Results showed that individuals who took saunas 4-7 times per week had significant reductions in CVD and all cause mortality (all deaths in the group regardless of cause) compared to other groups that took saunas less frequently.

Takeaways

-Participants who took saunas 4-7 times per week had a 50% decrease in CVD. -This same group also had a 40% decrease in all cause mortality. -Higher frequency and duration of sauna bathing are each strongly associated with a lowered risk of fatal CVD events in middle-aged to elderly males and females.

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