Frequent saunas can protect against stroke
For some people, sauna visits are part of the wellness offer, for others they are an important contribution to preventing diseases. The violent alternation between extreme heat and cooling strengthens the immune system and has a positive effect on the heart, blood vessels, respiratory tract and metabolism. A study has now shown that frequent saunas also reduce the risk of stroke.
Reduced risk of stroke
Researchers have found that frequent visits to the sauna are associated with a reduced risk of stroke. The scientists around Dr. Setor Kunutsor of the Bristol Biomedical Research Center found that people who went to a sauna four to seven times a week were 61 percent less likely to develop a cerebral infarction compared to using a sauna only once a week People. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Neurology".
Study participants from Finland
The results of the current study are based on the population-based Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) study, which involved a total of 1,628 men and women aged 53 to 74 years. The participants lived in the eastern part of Finland.
Based on the frequency of using traditional Finnish sauna baths (relative humidity 10-20 percent), the study participants were divided into three groups.
The first group went to a sauna once a week. The second group went to the sauna two to three times a week. The participants in the third group went to the sauna four to seven times a week, the researchers explain.
More frequent sauna sessions reduced the risk more
The doctors were able to determine that the more frequently the test persons visited a sauna, the lower their risk of suffering a stroke.
Compared to people who only used a sauna one hour a week, the risk was reduced by 14 percent in two to three sauna sessions, and when people went to the sauna four to seven times a week, the risk was even reduced by 61 percent.
The association persisted, taking into account classic stroke risk factors such as age, gender, diabetes, body mass index, blood fat, alcohol consumption, physical activity and socioeconomic status.
The strength of the association was similar in men and women, the scientists say.
"The results are very significant and underscore the diverse health benefits of frequent sauna baths," explains study author Dr. Setor Kunutsor of the University of Bristol in a press release.
Improved cardiovascular function
Previous results from the KIHD study have shown that frequent saunas also significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality.
According to the researchers, mechanisms that associate sauna visits with reduced stroke could include lowering blood pressure, stimulating the immune system, having a positive effect on the autonomic nervous system and improving cardiovascular function.
In a recent experimental study, the same group of scientists showed that sauna visits have an acute impact on the stiffness of the artery wall. This affects blood pressure and cardiac function parameters.
Some people have to be careful when taking a sauna
Despite the positive effects of frequent sauna visits, certain groups of people should be careful when taking a sauna. This applies, among other things, to people with severe varicose veins or other venous vascular diseases.
And even in the case of existing cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease (CHD), cardiac arrhythmia (fluttering heartbeat) or high blood pressure, patients should seek medical advice before visiting the sauna.
If you have circulatory problems such as dizziness, you should also not take a sauna. (as, ad)