Last week we looked at a study investigating whether sauna use could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This week, let’s look at the potential effects of sauna use on cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Sauna cardiovascular effects
The study I described in last week’s blog post actually measured more than just Alzheimer’s disease risk and dementia. It also measured the risk of sudden cardiac death and all-cause mortality.
Take a look at the infographic below for those results and other cardiovascular sauna studies.
Cardiovascular health is the area where most research has been done and the clinical benefits of sauna use seem to be well-established. Studies have included both the Finnish style saunas but also infrared saunas.
It is interesting to note that sauna use used to be contraindicated for CVD. Yet now, more than half the studies with sauna are on populations with CVD or at increased risk for CVD.
Despite the differences in sauna types, temperatures, frequency and duration of the interventions, as a whole, the body of research on sauna use for cardiovascular disease suggests favorable outcomes. It would be nice to see research explore the optimum frequency and duration for beneficial effects. Some of these studies showed positive effects in just 2 weeks. How long will those changes persist?
I think this is a growing area of research which increasingly seems to suggest benefits of sauna use as a regular lifestyle intervention.
Precautions: please refer back to my previous posts for precautions for using sauna.