Regular Sauna Bathers can Keep Their Blood Pressure in Check

Regular Sauna Bathers can Keep Their Blood Pressure in Check

by Rishika Gupta on  September 30, 2017 at 1:16 PM Health Watch
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Highlights:
  • Sauna bathers are at a lower risk for elevated blood pressure, finds a new study
  • The risk of hypertension lowered by 46% in men who had a sauna 4-7 times a week
  • Sauna bathing may also lower systemic blood pressure due to overall relaxation of the body and mind
Frequent sauna bathing may reduce the risk of elevated blood pressure by 50%, when compared to people who had sauna only once a week, found a study published in American Journal Of Hypertension.
Regular Sauna Bathers can Keep Their Blood Pressure in Check

The same researchers have previously shown that frequent sauna bathing reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death, and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.

Elevated blood pressure is documented to be one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. According to the research group, underlying protective mechanisms may include the beneficial effects of regular sauna bathing on blood pressure.

The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) involved 1,621 middle-aged men living in the eastern part of Finland. Study participants without elevated blood pressure of over 140/90 mmHg or with diagnosed hypertension at the study baseline were included in this long-term follow-up study.

Based on their sauna bathing habits, men were divided into three sauna frequency groups: those taking a sauna once a week, 2-3 times a week, or 4-7 times a week.

During an average follow-up of 22 years, 15.5% of the men developed clinically defined hypertension. The risk of hypertension was 24% decreased among men with a sauna frequency of 2-3 times a week, and 46% lowered among men who had a sauna 4-7 times a week.

How Sauna can Help Lower Elevated Blood Pressure?

Sauna bathing may decrease systemic blood pressure through different biological mechanisms.
  • During sauna bathing, the body temperature may rise to 2 °C degrees, causing vessels vasodilation.
  • Regular sauna bathing improves endothelial function, i.e., the function of the inside layer of blood vessels, which has beneficial effects on systemic blood pressure.
  • Sweating, in turn, removes fluid from the body, which is a contributing factor to decreased blood pressure levels. Additionally, sauna bathing may also lower systemic blood pressure due to overall relaxation of the body and mind.
A recent analysis of the same study also revealed that those taking a sauna frequently have a lower risk of pulmonary diseases.

Reference
  1. Francesco Zaccardi, Tanjaniina Laukkanen, Peter Willeit, Setor K. Kunutsor, Jussi Kauhanen, Jari A. Laukkanen. Sauna Bathing and Incident Hypertension: A Prospective Cohort Study. American Journal of Hypertension, (2017); DOI: 10.1093/ajh/hpx102
Source: Medindia

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