Format

Send to

Choose Destination
BMC Med. 2018 Nov 29;16(1):219. doi: 10.1186/s12916-018-1198-0.

Sauna bathing is associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality and improves risk prediction in men and women: a prospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211, Kuopio, Finland.
2
Central Finland Health Care District, Jyväskylä, Finland.
3
National Institute for Health Research Bristol Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
4
Translational Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, Musculoskeletal Research Unit, University of Bristol, Learning & Research Building (Level 1), Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK.
5
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
6
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
7
Department of Neurology, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
8
Diabetes Research Centre, Leicester General Hospital, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.
9
Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211, Kuopio, Finland. jari.a.laukkanen@jyu.fi.
10
Central Finland Health Care District, Jyväskylä, Finland. jari.a.laukkanen@jyu.fi.
11
Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland. jari.a.laukkanen@jyu.fi.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous evidence indicates that sauna bathing is related to a reduced risk of fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in men. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between sauna habits and CVD mortality in men and women, and whether adding information on sauna habits to conventional cardiovascular risk factors is associated with improvement in prediction of CVD mortality risk.

METHODS:

Sauna bathing habits were assessed at baseline in a sample of 1688 participants (mean age 63; range 53-74 years), of whom 51.4% were women. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated to investigate the relationships of frequency and duration of sauna use with CVD mortality.

RESULTS:

A total of 181 fatal CVD events occurred during a median follow-up of 15.0 years (interquartile range, 14.1-15.9). The risk of CVD mortality decreased linearly with increasing sauna sessions per week with no threshold effect. In age- and sex-adjusted analysis, compared with participants who had one sauna bathing session per week, HRs (95% CIs) for CVD mortality were 0.71 (0.52 to 0.98) and 0.30 (0.14 to 0.64) for participants with two to three and four to seven sauna sessions per week, respectively. After adjustment for established CVD risk factors, potential confounders including physical activity, socioeconomic status, and incident coronary heart disease, the corresponding HRs (95% CIs) were 0.75 (0.52 to 1.08) and 0.23 (0.08 to 0.65), respectively. The duration of sauna use (minutes per week) was inversely associated with CVD mortality in a continuous manner. Addition of information on sauna bathing frequency to a CVD mortality risk prediction model containing established risk factors was associated with a C-index change (0.0091; P = 0.010), difference in - 2 log likelihood (P = 0.019), and categorical net reclassification improvement (4.14%; P = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS:

Higher frequency and duration of sauna bathing are each strongly, inversely, and independently associated with fatal CVD events in middle-aged to elderly males and females. The frequency of sauna bathing improves the prediction of the long-term risk for CVD mortality.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular disease; Gender; Prevention; Risk prediction; Sauna bathing

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center