A recent study carried out by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland found that frequent sauna use can reduce the chances of cardiac death.
The study was a 20-year follow-up assessment that reported men who take a sauna between 4 to 7 times per week are 63 percent less probable of experiencing sudden cardiac death than men who only take a sauna once a week. Additionally, cardiac events such as the occurrence of death due to coronary artery disease and overall mortality, were less frequent in men who took muliples saunas per week.
The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) evaluated the effects of sauna use on mortality, involving more than 2,000 middle-aged men living in eastern Finland. Participants were divided in three groups according to their sauna-taking habits: one sauna per week, 2 to 3 saunas per week, and 4 to 7 saunas per week. According to the researchers’ evaluation, frequent sauna use was correlated with a lower probability of sudden cardiac death due to coronary artery disease and other cardiac events. These findings were published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.
Further, the amount of time spent taking a sauna was also linked to the risk of cardiac death. Participants that spent over 19 minutes in the sauna, per session, were 52 percent less probable of suffering from cardiac death when compared to those who only spent 11 minutes per session.
According to study leader Jari Laukkanen, the reason why taking a sauna can protect the heart is still not clear and fully understood, with further research necessary. However it has been already demonstrated that taking a sauna might lower blood pressure and help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels.