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Could Saunas Reduce Heart Attack Risk?

Men who frequently use saunas had reduced risks of fatal cardiovascular events and mortality from other causes, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Jari A. Laukkanen, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, and coauthors investigated the connection between sauna bathing and the risk of SCD, fatal coronary heart disease (CHD), fatal CVD and all-cause mortality in a group of 2,315 men aged 42 to 60 years old from eastern Finland.

When compared with men who reported one sauna bathing session per week, the risk of SCD was 22 percent lower for those with two-to-three sauna bathing sessions per week and 63 percent lower for four-to-seven sauna sessions per week. Benefits also were noted for those who spent more time in the sauna. Similar results were seen when looking at other cardiovascular events. 

“Further studies are warranted to establish the potential mechanism that links sauna bathing and cardiovascular health,” the study concludes.