Sauna use produces a wide variety of positive health responses from your body. Today we are looking at the effect it has on heart health and cardiovascular function. A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information looks at the association of frequent sauna use and the risk of fatal coronary heart disease, sudden cardiac death, and coronary heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing 840, 768 deaths in 2016. This remains one of the biggest expenses for the U.S. healthcare system. Preventative care cannot be undervalued when it comes to heart health. The sauna study looked at just over 2300 Finnish men between the ages of 42-60. Here are some of the most impressive results:
They were divided by the frequency they use a sauna: once a week (Group A), 2 to 3 times per week (Group B), and 4 to 7 times per week (Group C).
The number of sudden cardiac deaths in each group were: Group A= 10.1%, Group B=7.8%, Group C=5%.
Coronary heart disease also showed a decrease of risk in each group: Group A=14.9%, Group B=11.5%, Group C=8.5%.
The same was proven for fatal cardiovascular disease (heart attack, congenital heart disease, heart failure).
Group C was 50% less likely to die from a heart related episode!
One of the reasons that sauna use is so beneficial for heart health is that heat stress response we experience inside a dry sauna mimics moderate to vigorous exercise. It is therefore an added incentive for those who are currently unable to perform exercises traditionally, due to physical limitations or injury recovery, can receive the same benefits via sauna bathing. As proven by Group C of the study participants, more sauna=more reduced risk. The same was shown for length of sauna session. Those who were in the sauna more than 11 minutes had even better results.
It was predicted that heart related events would occur in over 1 million Americans in 2019. If we can stem the tide of the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and death by sitting in the comforting environment of a dry sauna, sign us up!
Webb, Sherrie. “AHA Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics.” American College of Cardiology. February 19, 2019. https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/ten-points-to-remember/2019/02/15/14/39/aha-2019-heart-disease-and-stroke-statistics
Laukkanen, T. Khan, H. Zaccardi, F. Laukkanen, JA. “Association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25705824