(HealthDay News) — Men who use saunas frequently may be less likely to die from heart disease, according to research published online February 23 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The study researchers followed the health of 2,315 middle-aged men from eastern Finland for an average of two decades. The men were between the ages of ages 42–60.
The researchers found that risk of sudden cardiac death was 22% lower after two to three sauna bathing sessions per week and 63% lower with four to seven sauna sessions per week. Risk of fatal cardiovascular disease was 23% lower for two to three bathing sessions per week and 48% lower for four to seven sauna sessions per week. Risk of death from heart disease or stroke was 27% lower for two to three saunas a week and 50% lower for four to seven saunas a week. Men who visited the sauna two to three times per week had a 24% lower risk of death, while those who went four to seven times per week had a 40% reduction compared to only one sauna session per week.
Men’s risk was also lower when they spent longer periods of time in a sauna each session. Compared with men who spent <11 minutes in the sauna, the risk of sudden cardiac death was 7% lower for sauna sessions of 11–19 minutes and 52% less for sessions lasting >19 minutes, according to the study.